A fifth of people have already traded in their car for a more efficient model after the average cost of petrol passed 130 pence per litre and 15 per cent more are expected to follow once it hits 150 pence.
This is according to the latest BCA Used Car Market Report, which interviewed 4,000 people aged 17 years and over.
Tim Naylor of BCA said: “Our research shows that fuel consumption remains the top priority for motorists, with 27% saying they will be looking for better fuel economy on their next vehicle.”
He also explained the number of two-car families has fallen by five per cent in the past year because of the rising cost of fuel, which has reached an average price of 134 pence per litre, according to the AA.
The news could see smaller, more efficient cars such as the Ford Fiesta Econetic and the Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex – both of whose ‘eco-signatures’ indicate free UK road tax and improved fuel economy – will be increasingly popular.
Naylor added: “With rising costs hitting households from every side and many wages frozen, it’s no wonder that two out of five motorists would like to see a cut in fuel duty. But rather than waiting for that unlikely change, car owners are changing how often they drive, as well as what they drive, in a bid to combat costs.”
However, alongside the likes of the Fiesta and Corsa, many other car makers are launching ultra-efficient models in car dealerships up and down the country.
Cars such as the petrol Fiat 500 TwinAir, the Seat Ibiza Ecomotive and the new Citroen C3 Airdream all come with CO2 emissions low enough to qualify for free road tax and exemption from the London congestion charge in the UK.