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Parker's forecourt focus: Buyers wise up to green benefits

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Review

A recent survey showed that people were prepared to ‘go green’ when choosing a car if it meant they could save money.

This result was no surprise to anyone at Parker’s because we’ve been aware of this for years through our many conversations with car buyers.

Marketing-speak of low emissions and environmental sensitivity mean nothing to most people, but tell them about 60mpg and £35 annual road tax and they will be very interested.

The trick is ensuring people understand that environmentally-friendly motoring and low running costs are two sides of the same coin.

And people don’t have to spend big bucks on new hybrid cars or the latest diesel models.

Hybrids have been around long enough to ensure a presence on the used market, although demand for these in London remains high, as they have been an effective way of avoiding the congestion charge.

The price of a high-mileage current-generation Toyota Prius starts at around the £6,500 mark if buying privately, while the Honda Civic IMA hybrid is cheaper still.

A 1.6-litre diesel Ford Focus is capable of almost 60mpg, according to official figures, and prices for this model start at under £5,000.

With the market for diesel continuing to grow, there will be no shortage of cars on the used market offering buyers on virtually every budget access to low-cost motoring.

Cars capable of up to 70mpg are becoming increasingly common on the used market, particularly in the best of the latest generation of small cars.

Used car customers are already getting the message that making a ‘greener’ choice can save them money.

And when the revised vehicle excise duty bands come into effect next year, this will only serve to underline the point.

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