Many drivers unaware of emission levelsEST calls for better promotion of greener cars

24 July 2008

Nearly three quarters of British motorists have no idea how much carbon dioxide their car emits, according to a new survey

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) – which carried out the poll – says more needs to be done to educate motorists about the benefits of switching to a ‘greener’ vehicle.

It’s now called on UK car manufacturers and dealers to do more to publicise the CO2 emissions of the vehicles they sell.

Despite widespread ignorance over car emissions, the EST poll found 89% of consumers want environmental features brought to their attention when buying a new car.

Fuel efficiency

Nearly half are considering replacing their car in the next year, the poll of 1,511 UK drivers showed.

Half said they would drive more efficiently if they had more ‘green’ information, while 51% of those shown a list of popular cars had no idea which was the least polluting.

Fuel efficiency came third behind price and style as the thing that grabbed consumers' attention in car advertisements.

The poll also revealed that 51% take their car on journeys of less than one mile and 71% go on trips of less than 1.5 miles.

Emissions information

Energy Saving Trust chief executive Philip Sellwood said: ‘While car manufacturers are starting to place CO2 information more prominently in their advertising, this is only helpful up to a certain point.

‘For many years, manufacturers have marketed the higher-carbon vehicles within a vehicle range as better quality, more expensive, faster and even more desirable, influencing consumers to make irrational choices with regard to fuel and running costs.

‘Dealers are making inroads by displaying information on the cost implications of choosing greener cars more prominently.  However, more still needs to be done to help educate drivers earlier on in the decision making process.’