Costs ‘still top of the list’ for new car buyers

Cost is still the overriding factor that influences the buying decisions of the majority of new car purchasers, according to research commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

When asked what they would consider more important if they were buying a new car – the cost of motoring or carbon emissions – 29 per cent of respondents said cost and 13 per cent said CO2 credentials.

Some 45 per cent of people surveyed by Ipsos Mori said the two were equally important and 11 per cent said they considered neither to be significant.

SMMT figures show that, this year, sales of superminis and fuel-efficient diesel cars have increased by 11.3 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively, a trend which the society ascribes to joint concerns over cost and environmental impact.

"We have attributed this year’s rise in sales of smaller cars and fuel efficient diesels partly to green concerns, partly to economic issues," said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.

"However, it seems that the pocket is still more important to buyers than the environment. This is why it is so important that we continue to wrap the message that low carbon cars and low cost motoring go hand-in-hand."

Mr Macgowan pledged SMMT support to the government’s Act on CO2 awareness campaign and said that better consumer information is something the society "fully supports".


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