The result highlights a turnaround in public opinion. In March, an AA study revealed that four out of five UK drivers put making financial ends meet ahead of environmental concerns in their list of motoring priorities.
Around the same time, a Government-commissioned review into low emissions motoring identified a need to ‘develop a strong and rapidly-growing market for low-emission cars’ as a key priority. It suggested the Government should introduce incentives to encourage people to start buying environmentally friendly cars and deterring them from buying models with higher emissions.
Plans for higher road tax, calls for a £2,000 showroom tax and a tripling of London congestion charge for vehicles with the worst emission levels are some of the new measures that may have influenced buying decisions.
Paul Winfield, Motorpoint operations director, said: “There can be no doubt that punishment by taxation has had a marked effect on driver opinion during 2007.
“Nevertheless, in Britain today there are some 33 million drivers and almost 30 million cars. That means around 11 million drivers are still ready to pay the price for driving the car of their choice however polluting it may be.”