Parents of children aged under 18 are continuing to downsize, with almost a fifth (17%) saying that they have sold one or more cars to save money and raise extra cash and 1 in 11 (9%) are considering selling a car to raise much needed funds.
The new findings, from the second ‘Driver Satisfaction Index’, commissioned by Motors.co.uk in partnership with YouGov, reveals that motorists are also cutting back on their vehicle maintenance with 51% failing to service their car regularly, whilst fuel-saving techniques are being used by motorists such as turning off their air conditioning (43%), keeping their tyres inflated to the correct specification (55%) and using higher gears (37%).
Of those research respondents who don’t own a car, 46% admitted the cost of fuel has put them off, closely followed by cost of car insurance (45%), and the cost of buying a car (42%).
Phill Jones, Motors.co.uk commercial director, said: “Growth in the small car sector, fuelled by downsizing, is good news for dealers in that market.
“It is encouraging to see that manufacturers are addressing this shift in car buying. A good example of this is the new Mondeo 1.6 TDCi which produces 115bhp and uses stop-start technology to produce CO2 emissions of 114g/km.
“It is vital that dealers get their product mix right, so they don’t have any gaps on the forecourt. As the market tightens over the next few months, we will see greater demand for smaller vehicles with cheaper running costs.
“The good news is that the small car segment is holding its prices and showing increases of over 6% on some models since January 2011, whilst medium to large vehicle prices are flat or are dropping.”
Motors.co.uk is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust Plc and is one of the UK’s largest car search response sites for dealers.
• Total research sample size was 2,054 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between August 3 – 5, 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).