A third of the UK’s would-be car buyers are planning to downsize to a more efficient model, according to new research.
Fuel efficiency is now the prime consideration for 36% of car buyers, the survey for uSwitch.com showed, ahead of traditional concerns like body type and purchase price.
The comparison site also found that next week’s fuel duty increase of 2p a litre would add £29 a year to the average driver’s fuel bill – or £1.16 for every tank of unleaded.
Petrol prices have risen by 15.6% in the last six months, uSwitch said, from just 90.6p a litre in February to today’s average of 104.7p. Reports suggest the rising cost of oil will make pump prices go up by a further 3p a litre, dealing a double blow for motorists.
Mark Monteiro, an insurance expert at uSwitch, said, ‘It is not surprising that, for drivers looking to buy a new or second-hand vehicle, size increasingly matters.
‘Getting from A to B is more about MPG [miles per gallon] than ever before, and, with further petrol price increases in the offing, drivers are right to think about the total running costs of a vehicle before making a final decision on the forecourt.’
Most efficient cars
The let you take advantage of cheap annual road tax and much lower fuel bills. Not sure where to start? Then read these guides to the , efficient superminis and finding the cheapest fuel.
Follow Which? Car on Twitter
The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.
We’re monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got a Twitter account – you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.