How much fuel a car uses will be a priority for 71 per cent of motorists when buying their next car with 43 per cent believing that low carbon emissions should be a priority.
This compares with 53 per cent and 24 per cent respectively when their present car was purchased.
While the emphasis on fuel economy has increased during the purchasing decision process so has the emphasis on low carbon emissions, a clear sign that motorists are taking a more environmental approach when selecting a car, says Auto Trader.
The survey also revealed that many motorists have switched from petrol to diesel. 41 per cent of respondents previously owned a diesel engine car while 52 per cent presently drive a diesel with 58 per cent claiming that the main reason for change was running costs.
Young drivers, aged 17 to 24, care least about fuel economy with 65 per cent stating they didn’t consider economy when buying their present car and 58 per cent stating they won’t worry when buying their next car either.
The most fuel economy conscious drivers were aged 65 and above with more than 62 per cent claiming it was a priority when buying their present car and 82 per cent stating it will be a priority when buying their next car.
Nathan Coe, group director Auto Trader, said: ‘It’s not just today’s concerns about the availability of fuel that is driving motorists to prioritise fuel economy when choosing a new car.
‘Increases in fuel prices and the growing pressure on family budgets over the past three years are all having an impact. The survey also reveals that the number of motorists who consider low emission to be a priority has almost doubled and we expect that number to continue to increase in the next few years.’