The escalating cost of petrol,
particularly diesel, is having a major impact on the choice of cars
people are buying according to Motorpoint.
Figures for the first quarter of 2008
show a sharp increase in the sales of small cars such as Ford Fiesta,
Fiat Grande Punto, Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa as motorists look at
ways of offsetting recent price hikes at the pumps.
And, in a clear demonstration that the
advent of the £5 gallon of petrol is affecting buying behaviour,
Motorpoint customers are also turning their backs on diesels in record
numbers and opting for petrol engines instead. For example, six times as
many people bought the petrol version of the Vauxhall Corsa (1.2 16v
Club) compared with the diesel.
Says David Shelton, Managing Director
at Motorpoint: “While the credit crunch has impacted on the economy, our
sales figures show it hasn’t slowed down the number of people buying new
and nearly new cars. What is clear though is that people are becoming
ever more conscious of fuel consumption, and as a result, small cars are
proving extremely popular.”
At the other end of the spectrum, sales
of 4 x 4s are showing signs of slowing, as customers become ever more
conscious not just of the cost of petrol but also changes to road car
tax. In the recent Budget, the Chancellor announced a new top band for
the most polluting vehicles (those with over 265 Cº2 emissions).