Analysis by CACI (www.caci.co.uk)
"The 4x4 driver has come in for criticism in the press with the RAC Foundation leaping to the defence of the embattled driver.
CACI takes a look at who’s really driving 4x4s. The image portrayed is the lady of leisure dropping her kids off at school before heading off to town with the ladies who lunch. The charges are that these Kensington Tractors take up too much road, are handled by inconsiderate drivers and what’s more the size of the vehicle, fuel consumption and emissions are just not necessary for the urban environment.
Is this stereotype a true reflection of the people that actually own and drive 4x4s these days? Or do 4x4 drivers get their mud in country lanes rather than farmers’ markets in Chelsea?
Using ACORN consumer segmentation CACI has identified that the Wealthy Executive is most likely to have a 4x4 on the driveway of their detached house. Inside the house there are children who will need to be ferried to and from school and numerous social events. The 4x4 will enjoy a regular trip to the golf course (tarmaced area only).
Sadly the vehicle will be left behind when the family fly off for their annual ski trip – it would be just too dangerous to drive on snow & ice. As a quick scan of any Waitrose car park will reveal these professional managers are most often found in places such as Esher, Solihull, Beaconsfield and other rich commuter satellite towns.
These Wealthy Executives account 15% of 4x4 owners. Another 13% of 4x4 owners are Affluent Greys who are less likely to need a car for the purpose of running children around. Some of them live and work in farming communities, but others will have taken retirement from their profession and now spend their time visiting National Trust properties in their 4x4 – very useful for those overflow car parks. South coast retirement towns are the preferred home of the Affluent Grey, Poole, Ferndown and Christchurch being particular favourite haunts.
The 4x4 driver comes from a variety of backgrounds, but make no mistake, their household income is above average and yes the chances are they will have children to take to and from school. The discussions on how they drive and whether they really need a 4x4 will rumble on and on; what’s certain is that off road is more likely to involve the gravel drive than the farmyard."