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Fuel economy is now the top priority for a quarter of car buyers, with sales of fuel-efficient cars set for a boost. The cost of living crisis has forced many drivers to utilise fuel-saving and hypermiling techniques to cut down on their fuel spending.
The findings come after separate AA data recorded that average petrol prices are 26 percent higher than a year ago, at 170.60p a litre.
The average cost of diesel is 182.58p, 33 percent more than the same month in 2021.
The rising cost of living may also be pushing people to favour cars which will cost them less to run.
The AA Cars poll of more than 15,000 drivers found that a quarter rank good fuel economy as the most important thing they would look for in a car if they were to buy one this year.
Around 87 percent of motorists listed it among their top three criteria.
A mere nine percent of drivers said they would not rank fuel efficiency as a priority, while four percent said it was irrelevant because they only want to buy an Electric Vehicle.
James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “The high cost of petrol and diesel has made many drivers reconsider what they want most in a car, and fuel economy has shot up to the top of many people’s wishlists.
“This means that some of the most attractive models right now are those with the best fuel economy.
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“Anyone looking for a car to buy should compare the miles per gallon offered by different models, to get a sense of how efficient each is compared to its rivals.
“People concerned about the price of fuel may also be considering an EV as an alternative. While EVs typically cost more to buy than an equivalent petrol or diesel model, they come with the benefit of lower running costs.
“The savings are even bigger when fuel prices are as high as they are right now.”
Of those who listed fuel economy among their top three priorities for a new car, a third (31%) said they would not have ranked it as highly this time last year.
Halfords is offering a discount on the Fuel Efficiency Pack and customers can now buy it for £10 less. Available at Halfords Autocentres, the Fuel Efficiency Pack is a service where a Halfords technician will clean and remove harmful carbon deposits out of your car’s engine and fuel system using a non-invasive procedure. Book the service now.
View Deal Book here
It is suggested that the surging cost of fuel in 2022 has had a major impact on people’s car-buying preferences.
The high cost of fuel is also contributing to stronger sales of electric vehicles.
Battery EVs made up 13.9 percent of all new car sales in the first seven months of 2022, while sales of second-hand EVs more than doubled in the first quarter of the year.
Mr Fairclough added: “For drivers who are keen to ditch the pump but unsure about buying an EV, leasing one can be a great way to go electric without the long-term commitment of owning an EV.
“Leasing products, such as the AA Lease give you peace of mind that you will be paying a fixed price each month.
“Some also offer add-ons which can protect drivers against unexpected life events, allowing the car to be handed back without penalty in certain circumstances.”
However, AA Cars warned drivers to take MPG figures with a pinch of salt.
The numbers are based on laboratory testing, so the number of miles a driver will actually achieve per gallon may differ to the manufacturer’s official figures.
Nevertheless, MPG figures can be a very useful indicator when comparing vehicles.
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