Fuel prices encouraging different needs

Recent increases in fuel prices are beginning to hit consumers leading them to require different qualities in their cars.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), believes drivers are looking for "efficient" cars "they can afford".

While in the past consumers may have opted for performance over fuel consumption the latest registration figures indicate a change in attitudes.

Latest registration figures show a growth in the number of diesel cars hitting the market, in April 45.4 per cent of new registrations were diesel cars and further rises are expected in 2008 and 2009.

Mr Everitt believes a strong growth in super-efficient cars can also be seen in the market and this is providing consumers with a wide variety of choice.

"The motor industry has invested in a wide variety of new technologies and exciting designs to ensure motorists have a wide choice and can continue to maintain their mobility, save money and reduce their carbon foot-print," he explained.

Meanwhile, despite the economic crisis, sales of used cars continue to remain steady.

Figures from the SMMT revealed that first quarter sales were only down by 1.1 per cent on last year’s figures showing that customers are not losing faith in the market.

As the industry adapts to increased fuel prices and new technologies, the sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) have also taken a boost.

Cars such as the Toyota Prius, a revolutionary hybrid model, are continuing to be popular and the demand for AFV was up by 8.4 per cent in April and 14.4 per cent year on year.

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