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Cost of motoring to fuel consumer downsizing

Customers are likely to continue downsizing as the cost of motoring increases next year.

Based on VAT increases alone, research from Auto Trader found that a Ford Focus’ yearly petrol bill will increase by nearly £60 next year, from £2,762 in 2010 to £2,821 in 2011. Fiesta owners, on the other hand, will only see £27 added to their yearly petrol expenditure, rising from £1,293 to £1,321.

As cost increasingly becomes a factor for consumers, Auto Trader predicts that downsizing and a trend for more efficient cars will continue.

Looking at the nation’s top five most popular cars, which consistently received the highest volume of searches on Autotrader.co.uk in 2010, those planning on purchasing a Volkswagen Golf will be hit hardest by the VAT rise, with total running costs increasing by an estimated £775. While splashing out on a BMW 3 Series next year will set consumers back an additional £560, they can take comfort in the fact that its good fuel economy and low emissions will only cost an additional £36 and £28 in petrol and tax, respectively.

Matt Thompson, Auto Trader marketing director, said: “We are seeing a trend for smaller, more efficient cars and I’m sure the Fiesta will give the Focus a good run for its money in the popularity stakes.
“Prices are rising and motorists need to be able to assess all the factors affected by the rise to ensure the next car they buy is the right one, in the long and short term.”

Download Auto Trader’s full comparisons on how the top 5 models will be affected by the VAT rise.

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