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Fuel economy still takes priority over emissions for consumers

Fuel economy is still the priority for the majority (71%) of motorists when choosing their next car, according to a new survey by Auto Trader.

The report shows that low emissions were chosen by 43% of respondents as the key believe priority when choosing their next car.

This compares with 53% for economy and 24% for emissions when their present car was purchased.

While the emphasis on fuel economy has increased during the purchasing decision process so has the emphasis on low carbon emissions, a sign that motorists are taking a more environmental approach when selecting a car.

The survey also revealed that many motorists have switched from petrol to diesel. 41% of respondents previously owned a diesel engine car while 52% presently drive a diesel with 58% claiming that the main reason for change was running costs.

Young drivers, aged 17 to 24, care least about fuel economy with 65% stating they didn’t consider economy when buying their present car and 58% stating they won’t worry when buying their next car either.

The most fuel economy conscious drivers were aged 65 and above with more than 62% claiming it was a priority when buying their present car and 82% stating it will be a priority when buying their next car.

Nathan Coe, group director Auto Trader, said: “It’s not just today’s concerns about the availability of fuel that is driving motorists to prioritise fuel economy when choosing a new car.

“Increases in fuel prices and the growing pressure on family budgets over the past three years are all having an impact. The survey also reveals that the number of motorists who consider low emission to be a priority has almost doubled and we expect that number to continue to increase in the next few years.”

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