Environmental credentials are bottom of the priority list for Britain’s car buyers, according to a new study.
And despite manufacturers attempts to lure buyers with ever more technology the traditional priorities remain purchase price, fuel economy, style and comfort.
Three times as many people still rate high speed performance as important, compared with a car’s green credentials, while crash safety falls below having the latest in-car gadgets as an important factor for most consumers.
Nearly 1,000 car buyers were asked what matters most when they’re choosing a new car by the online motor retailer BuyaCar.co.uk.
The results also reveal crucial differences in the priorities of men and women when it comes to crash safety. Women are more than 30% more likely than men to rank crash safety in their top four factors when choosing a car.
Women are also 20% less likely than men to prioritise the looks and styling of the car over other factors like fuel economy and insurance costs.
But price and fuel economy dominate the priorities for most people, beating low depreciation into sixth place as a top factor – even though the cheapest cars might still lose you more money in the long run, if they don’t hold their value.
“The results of our research show that people are really only in touch with the immediately tangible aspects of the cars they buy and drive,” says Austin Collins (pictured), managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk.
“That’s why the thought of spending money at the fuel pump every week or so seems more important than a trade-in or sale value in a few years’ time.
“We believe this is also why a car’s environmental credentials are at the bottom of the list for most people when they’re choosing their next vehicle.
“It’s not that people really don’t care about the environment– it’s just that the impact of your car on the environment is less immediately tangible compared with other factors.
“Our survey also shows that the relationship men and women have with cars is different and that men are still much more image-conscious than women, who are more likely to rank practical considerations ahead of things like looks and performance.”