Superminis 'set to beat the crunch'

Motorists plan to see off the ravages of the credit crunch by switching to eco-friendly cars, according to Auto Trader.

The website and magazine has reported that drivers who are searching for new cars are increasingly checking out superminis and other less polluting vehicles.

Vehicles such as the Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio received 12% more searches in June 2008 compared with the same month last year, while models like the Honda Jazz and the Peugeot 207 have generated a 45% increase.

Meanwhile, searches for small cars suitable for driving in urban areas have gone up by 18%.

Auto Trader marketing director Matt Thompson said: "Our data, collected from nearly 81,000,000 vehicle searches in June 2008, clearly shows that demand for smaller, more economical and fuel-efficient vehicles is significantly on the increase.

"Further evidence of this can be seen from our most recent research on fuel costs, which generated a record 31,600 responses from British motorists. The results showed that there are fundamental material changes in the way the UK motorist is behaving."

He went on: "Since fuel has broken the £1 a litre barrier, 40% of motorists have reduced the number of journeys they make - the equivalent to over 12 million motorists."

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