Fuel economy is a top priority for nearly a quarter of car buyers, finds survey

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Close to nine out of ten drivers now place fuel economy among their top three priorities when buying a car, a new survey has discovered.

A poll of 15,057 drivers by AA Cars found that 24 per cent put fuel economy as the most important requirement for a car if they were to buy one this year, with 87 per cent listing it among their top three needs.

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. 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.”

Just nine per cent of drivers said that they would not rank fuel efficiency as a priority, while four per cent said it wasn’t important as they’d only want to buy an electric vehicle.

The findings come amid separate AA data that found that average petrol prices are 26 per cent higher than they were a year ago at 170.60p a litre, while the average cost of diesel is 182.58p – 33 per cent more than the same month during 2021.

Fairclough added: “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.”