Car buyers plan to put economy ahead of every other factor other than price for their next car purchase, according to a new report by CAP Automotive.
Price accounted for 81% of the total, while fuel economy, running costs, total cost of ownership and service and maintenance made up the rest of the top five reasons driving consumer behaviour.
Consumers were asked to rank the 16 most important aspects of their car ownership experience in order of priority.
The old image of the proud car owner showing off their latest vehicle for reasons of vanity is severely dented by the finding that pride in being seen in the right car is ranked 15th among reasons to choose a car.
The growing importance of economy over almost every other aspect of the car ownership experience is driven home by the finding that even practicality, handling and styling are now considered less important than the annual cost of a tax disc.
The research was conducted independently for CAP and is based on 500 respondents.
Nick Flood, CAP Automotive consumer product manager, said: “Even we were surprised at these findings because factors like practicality, handling, image and styling have historically been right at the top of the list of reasons for choosing a particular car.
“It is clear that things are changing in austerity Britain when families are putting practicality behind the cost of taxing the next car they plan to buy.”