2008’s record fuel prices mean over 75 per cent of motorists have changed their driving behaviour.
This is expected to have an effect on the new and used cars people buy – particularly as proposed car tax changes will, in April, more heavily penalise less economical cars.
However, dealers should be careful how they market green models. Only 6 per cent of motorists say their changing behaviour is because of concern for the environment.
The 20th annual RAC Report on Motoring also reveals that 77 per cent of buyers would choose a more environmentally friendly car if incentives were better
Adrian Tink, RAC motoring strategist, said: ‘It’s clear there is a willingness from motorists to be more eco-friendly, but times are tough and despite fuel prices decreasing in recent weeks, looking after the family budget is still their first priority.’
In the report, the RAC also calls for:
• Fuel efficiency calculators to be built in as standard on all new cars
• MPG ratings to be placed on MOT certificates and road tax discs
• Scrapping of plans to backdate the VED charges on vehicles registered post-March 2001
• An overhaul of the motoring tax system.
• A voluntary car scrappage incentive scheme – whereby motorists with the most polluting cars on the road are paid an incentive to scrap it
• An information leaflet to explain the changes with tax disc reminders in 2009