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Petrol is favourite fuel

Time 12:02 am, May 26, 2011

fiat-launches-free-service-planDESPITE higher fuel economy, consumers still prefer petrol cars to their diesel counterpart a new study shows.

ContractHireAndLeasing.com asked more than 1700 people: ‘When you next change your car, what type of fuel will you opt for?’ of which 35 per cent opted for a petrol model compared to 25 per cent for diesel.

10 per cent of people asked said they would buy a hybrid – this is impressive as alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrids, claimed just 1.1 per cent of the UK’s new car market in 2010, says the firm.


Diesel cars attracted a higher percentage of the male vote, however, with 29 per cent of men compared to 22 per cent of women saying they would choose a diesel car. A further four per cent said they didn’t care about fuel type.

Worringly for the motor trade, almost one in four (24 per cent) respondents said they didn’t have any plans to change their car currently – a sign of the ongoing fragility of the UK economy.

Interest for electric cars is small though – of the people asked, only two per cent said they would opt for an electric car.

Richard Lawton from ContractHireAndLeasing.com  said: ‘Although diesel took 46.1 per cent of the new car market last year, this figure included registrations from fleet buyers and business car users who favour diesel because of its fuel efficiency over long trips. Private buyers have shown that they still prefer petrol; for its lower pence per litre cost, suitability to smaller cars and the quietness of petrol engines.

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‘It is interesting to see an increase in the number of motorists considering hybrid cars however. With a host of new hybrid models launching in the UK this year such as the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4, the Honda Jazz hybrid and the Infiniti M35 hybrid, the hybrid sector is starting to attract mainstream interest.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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