UK motorists can’t live without air con

In total 81 per cent of people named air conditioning as an essential feature in a new car, compared to just 33 per cent who thought a television was an important feature of a new car.

The survey from Exchange and Mart found DVD players and audio accessories such as sub woofers are not high on the list of priorities for new car buyers.

More practical gadgets such as car alarms fared better, finishing behind air conditioning in the most important features list. Hands free kits, MP3 players and parking sensors completed the top five.

The news will be no surprise to car manufacturers, many of whom have increased standard specifications to entice customers after the end of the scrappage scheme.

For example, special edition models and improved specification such as the Seat introducing the Ibiza Good Stuff model and Ford adding Powershift transmission six models in its range.

Michael Tang, Marketing Communications Manager at Exchange and Mart, said: "While someone who’s paid for an integrated television or boom box will highlight these add-ons in their car ad, they may overlook a feature such as air conditioning or the alarm system, but these are the ones that will sell the car to the widest audience."