LONDON – Eco-warriors are in the minority among U.K. new-car buyers who have relegated environment credentials to the bottom of their vehicle wish lists.
That’s the finding of a new survey that shows price, economy, style and comfort are the top considerations of today’s consumers.
At the same time, high-speed performance is rated as more important than a car’s green credentials by a 3-to-1 margin, while crash safety falls below having the latest in-car gadgets as an important factor for most consumers.
The survey of about 1,000 people asked what matters most when they’re choosing a new car was conducted by online motor retailer BuyaCar.co.uk.
The results also reveal sharp differences in the priorities of men and women when it comes to crash safety. Women are over 30% more likely than men to rank crash safety in their top four factors when choosing a car. Women also are 20% less likely than men to prioritize the looks and styling of the car over other factors such as fuel economy and insurance costs.
Price and fuel economy dominate the priorities for most people, beating low depreciation despite the fact the least-expensive cars might lose more in residual value.
“The results of our research show that people are really only in touch with the immediately tangible aspects of the cars they buy and drive,” says Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk. “That’s why the thought of spending money at the fuel pump every week or so seems more important than a trade-in or sale value in a few years’ time.
“We believe this is also why a car’s environmental credentials are at the bottom of the list for most people when they’re choosing their next vehicle.
“It’s not that people really don’t care about the environment – it’s just that the impact of your car on the environment is less immediately tangible compared with other factors.”
The survey also suggests male car buyers still are more image-conscious than women, who are “more likely to rank practical considerations ahead of things such as looks and performance,” Collins says.