Going green can save you cash!

* Customers don't care about enviro effects * Value and running costs important * What Car? survey...

Author Avatar
What Car? Staff
19 Mar 2009 12:40 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

What Car? can reveal that hard-pressed British consumers are putting environmental credentials right at the bottom of the agenda when they're looking for their new car, even though it could also save them cash.

In our exclusive survey with Harris Interactive, 1000 motorists were asked what the most important factor was for them in choosing which car to buy.

Value for money and running costs were understandably at the top of the table with 56%, while only 2% put the car's impact on the environment as their top priority.

'Cash is king right now,' said Steve Fowler, What Car? group editor. 'Value for money, running costs and reliability are what car buyers want most through this difficult economic climate. The good news is that the most fuel-efficient cars also tend to be the greenest cars!'

Brand values are important to 20% of survey respondents, proving that the combination of status and perceptions of build quality sells.

With everyone looking to make their money go further, What Car? has put together 50 Top Money-Saving Tips, including:

  • Drive smarter follow our tips on driving green and you could save 100s in fuel every year (and reduce your carbon footprint).

  • Do your sums dont assume diesel will automatically save you money.

  • Shop around, shop around, shop around. Collect quotes for new cars, finance, insurance, and servicing and repair work and youll save.

  • Use the What Car? Target Price to find out the most you should pay for any new car. Beat our figure by as much as you can.

  • Dont be dazzled by massive discounts, but consider residual values and other running costs as well. Our Real Cost figures show how much every car on sale will really cost over three years.

  • Maximise the value of your part-exchange use the What Car? Used Car Price Guide to find out its real value.

  • Consider buying a run-out model bigger discounts can be achieved if a model is due to be replaced. Build quality will be best at this stage in a vehicles production life, too.

  • Look at buying at the end of the month or quarter to take advantage of dealer sales bonuses. Sales staff will be extra keen to secure your deal.

  • Use a credit card for at least part of a purchase and youll get excellent protection, worth up to 30,000, under the Consumer Credit Act.

  • Check your credit file with Experian or Equifax and correct any mistakes that could be preventing you getting the best finance rates.

We asked:

Which of the following would you say is the most important factor to you when choosing which car to buy?

VALUE FOR MONEY 56%
MAKE AND MODEL 20%
SIZE 8%
COMFORT 5%
A CAR I WANT TO BE SEEN IN 3%
ENGINE SIZE 2%
EFFECT ON ENVIRONMENT 2%
OTHER 4%