Need for speed tops drivers’ priorities

The environment is bottom of the list of priorities for British car buyers. Instead, price, fuel economy, style and comfort remain the issues motorists value more.

A new study by online motor retailer also found that safety was a low priority.

A survey of nearly 1,000 drivers found that three times as many people still said high speed performance mattered most when choosing a new car, compared with a car’s green credentials, while crash safety fell below the latest in-car gadgets as an important factor for most consumers.

The results also reveal crucial differences in the priorities of men and women when it comes to crash safety. Women are more than 30% more likely than men to rank crash safety in their top four factors when choosing a car.

Women are also 20% less likely than men to prioritise the looks and styling of the car over other factors like fuel economy and insurance costs.

But price and fuel economy dominate the priorities for most people, beating low depreciation into sixth place as a top factor – even though the cheapest cars might still lose you more money in the long run, if they don’t hold their value.

Austin Collins, Managing Director of, said, ‘The results of our research show that people are really only in touch with the immediately tangible aspects of the cars they buy and drive. That’s why the thought of spending money at the fuel pump every week or so seems more important than a trade-in or sale value in a few years’ time.

‘We believe this is also why a car’s environmental credentials are at the bottom of the list for most people when they’re choosing their next vehicle. It’s not that people really don’t care about the environment– it’s just that the impact of your car on the environment is less immediately tangible compared with other factors.

‘Our survey also shows that the relationship men and women have with cars is different and that men are still much more image-conscious than women, who are more likely to rank practical considerations ahead of things like looks and performance.’