MOST motorists may choose to abandon their cars if petrol prices were to increase by 20 cents a litre, according to a survey conducted by Budget Direct.
But the NRMA says regional drivers, such as those in Dubbo, will bear the price hike due to a lack of alternative mobility options.
NRMA's regional director for western NSW Graham Blight said there would be little choice for motorists in the regions to do otherwise.
"Just ask yourself what you could use if you want to get somewhere," Mr Blight said.
The survey revealed almost a third of drivers would be forced into making changes in their travelling if petrol rose to $1.80 per litre.
"This could well be right for people in the city but the problem is that with country people, we can't leave our cars at home because there's nothing else to rely on," Mr Blight said.
"It's going to be a major issue for us in regional NSW if petrol prices reach those levels."
However, he said the higher fuel costs will not rest with motorists alone but prices will be passed on to other goods by way of freight prices.
"Think the corn flakes and other goods bought at the supermarket.
"We pay the inward and outward costs on freight so cop it twice... subsequently maintaining our standard of living will become increasingly problematic because mobility is a cost we can't do away with," Mr Blight said.
"We have no choice ... but people would begin to be more conscious of how and when to use cars."