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Car-buying confidence hits new high

Mon, 07 Apr 2014

THE NUMBER of people who believe they will buy a new car in the next three years has jumped to 71%, according to the latest AA Car Purchase Index; up from 55% last year.

Of the 19,786 survey respondents who said they were going to buy a new car, 42% said they would choose a petrol engine, with 38% saying definitely diesel.

A further 13% don’t know what fuel type they will opt for, but 7% will choose some kind of hybrid and 1% will go fully electric – a total of exactly 100 respondents.

Last year only one single person said they would buy fully electric, suggesting a recent relative surge in awareness and popularity.

Men are much likelier to choose diesel, with 42% opting for it compared to only 29% of women. The Welsh are most likely to choose diesel with a 45% share, while Londoners are the most likely to go with petrol, at 47% of the market.

David Bruce, director of AA Cars, says that although fuel prices were rising sharply up to three years ago, when diesel was the favourite fuel, the trend has since been downward although the gap between diesel and petrol forecourt costs had been widening.

“This has probably encouraged more people to opt for petrol but if the cost of diesel continues to tumble this might reverse the trend. At the pumps, diesel is at its lowest price since July 2012.

“But the fact remains that a litre of diesel, at 135.59p on average, still costs 6p more than petrol at 129.46p per litre.

“Frequent short stop-start trips don’t suit modern diesels either – this can lead to [potentially expensive] problems with diesel particulate filter (DPF) blockages.

“So money is only likely to be saved by higher-mileage motorists where the economy of diesel cars overcomes the higher fuel cost.”

By Press Association reporter