Emission levels are the least important factor for choosing a car for the majority of buyers.
A survey by the National Franchised Dealers Association revealed 66% of consumers considered emissions the least important factor when choosing a car.
The survey revealed that 52% of consumers view cheap running costs as the most important factor.
The objectives of the survey were to explore current consumer perceptions of franchise dealers, understand aftersales behaviours and determine consumer opinions.
Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said: "The NFDA is surprised to find how disconnected the consumer is from the importance of emissions when choosing a vehicle. A vehicle’s emissions affects the amount of tax a consumer will pay and significantly affects the environment.
"There is a clear disconnect between the industry, that considers emissions to be of primary importance, and the consumer.
"The industry, in the wake of recent news, has focused on improving the consumer’s understanding of emissions. However, consumers are clearly more focused on the pounds in their pocket. The NFDA will continue in its work to educate the consumer and find a suitable balance between emissions and economical running costs.
“Our survey has bought to light a worrying statistic with regards to vehicle emissions. We expected to find emissions at the forefront of the consumers mind however this is clearly not the case.
“We will endeavour, through our members, to help educate the consumer of the importance of vehicle emissions as well as cheap running costs.”
> The consumer survey was commissioned by the NFDA and executed by Dipstick Research. Between December 1 – 9, 2015, 1,000 UK consumers were polled in a 10 minute online survey.