Drivers `driven by cost not brand`

Cost is more important than colour, capacity, brand and in-car entertainment when buying a new car, a survey has shown.

The poll by Auto Trader magazine shows 71% of new car buyers say the cost of the vehicle is the most important factor.

This is followed by fuel economy, running costs, fuel type and vehicle excise duty (VED) costs, with brand image and performance now considered to be relatively insignificant.

The poll of 1,000 UK motorists shows that 20% are planning to change their car for a smaller, more efficient model.

Drivers looking for cheaper car insurance are also likely to switch to a smaller car. Lower VED, cheaper running costs and lower carbon dioxide emissions were other reasons given for switching.

Auto Trader marketing director Matt Thompson said: "It is no surprise that our survey shows that nearly a fifth of motorists are seriously considering changing their car for a smaller, more fuel-efficient one, given the current economic climate.

"Motorists are no longer persuaded by brand reputation or performance, or even what the vehicle looks like, instead choosing to focus on the cost of ownership."

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