British motorists appear to be ignoring attempts to force them into smaller, greener cars with demand for larger cars reaching record levels in 2007.
Figures released by used car hypermarket chain Carcraft, show that sales of cars with engines of 2000cc and above increased last year despite the introduction of higher vehicle duty and the increasing cost of petrol.
Car buyers opting for larger vehicles made up 11.5% of all sales in the first ten months of 2007, compared to 9.5% in 2006. This is the first time that larger cars have represented more than one in ten used cars sold in the UK.
Older, male drivers are leading this trend. Over three-quarters (79%) of drivers buying cars over 3000cc were male and a quarter (26%) were men aged between 51 and 65 years old.
Barry Nightingale, managing director at Carcraft says: “The figures are surprising given the increased running costs of larger vehicles, but clearly drivers of prestige cars aren’t being put off. In fact quite the opposite appears to be the case.
“To ensure that used car buyers are aware of a car’s potential impact on the environment, we display CO2 emissions in grams per kilometre on all 8000 cars in Carcraft stock. We also grade our vehicles from ‘A’ for the lowest emissions through to ‘G’ for the highest to make it easier for customers to choose the right car for them.”
The research from Carcraft looked at a representative sample of 50,000 sales out of its total car sales nationwide, from the first ten months of 2006 and 2007.