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Fuel economy a vital attribute for 41% of used car buyers - CAP

Strong fuel economy is a significant factor in retail purchase decisions for more than 90% of used cars, according to a CAP survey.

According to a representative sample of used car dealers across the UK, fuel economy is a ‘vital’ element in the choice of car for 41 per cent of retail buyers. The majority – 50% of retail used car customers – named good fuel consumption as ‘desirable’ while just nine per cent considered it ‘unimportant’.

Growth in the popularity of diesels in the used market, along with reductions in the value of large family cars in relation to smaller, cheaper-to-run models are both strong indicators of the increasing importance attached to low fuel costs.

But the Black Book survey gives an insight into precisely how much significance used car buyers attach to the issue. The survey also breaks the results down regionally to reveal variations in attitude toward used car fuel economy.

Analysis shows that the most balanced spread of attitudes – from ‘vital’ to ‘unimportant’ – is found in the West Midlands. Here the majority cite fuel economy as ‘desirable’, with equally small minorities claiming it to be ‘vital’ or ‘unimportant’.

Elsewhere there is a universal bias toward engine economy, the strongest found in Northern Ireland, where 80% of respondents believe it is a ‘vital’ ingredient in used car choice. This region is followed by the north east and Yorkshire & Humberside, where 70 and 60% respectively scored lower fuel consumption as ‘vital’.

The areas where fewest dealers perceived fuel economy as ‘vital’ were London & the south east, the north west and east of the country – each of which saw ‘desirable’ as the majority response.

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