Motoring Costs Are Still More Important Than Emissions To New Car Buyers

Ipsos MORI research, commissioned by SMMT, shows that low CO2 emissions are still less important to buyers than annual running costs. This year, sales of smaller superminis and fuel efficient diesel cars have risen by 11.3 and 8.2 per cent respectively. However, low emissions run a poor second to motoring costs in the decision making process.

When asked if low carbon dioxide or low annual running costs were more important, just 13 per cent of survey respondents said low-CO2; 29 per cent pointed to the cost of motoring. Perhaps more encouragingly, 45 per cent said they would be equally important, but 11 per cent said neither would feature on their radar. Full results, which are part of a detailed study called Women and Motoring, will be published on 6 June 2007.

'We have attributed this year's rise in sales of smaller cars and fuel efficient diesels, partly to green concerns, partly to economic issues,' commented SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan. 'However, it seems that the pocket is still more important to buyers than the environment. This is why it is so important that we continue to wrap the message that low carbon cars and low cost motoring go hand-in-hand.'

In a voluntary move, the motor industry introduced a colour-coded label in new car showrooms back in 2005. The familiar green-to-red band systems mirror energy efficiency labels displayed on things like washing machines and other white goods. Crucially though, the automotive label also contains information about annual running costs such as fuel and road tax. This makes car-by-car comparisons on both CO2 and motoring costs easy for buyers to understand.

SMMT has also given its backing to the government's Act on CO2 campaign. Macgowan added, 'The industry is right behind this initiative; the new television advertisements and forthcoming Department for Transport web site featuring league tables of the lowest carbon emitting cars by class, complement the work we have done in introducing the new car green label. Better consumer information is something we fully support.'

22 May 2007 Staff

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