According to a new survey by Consumer Reports, a whopping 37 percent of motorists say their leading consideration when shopping for a new car is fuel economy.
With pretty much everyone feeling the pinch at the petrol pumps, consumers are driving less and contemplating switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The study found that 37 percent said their first consideration when shopping for their next car would be fuel economy. A distant second was quality (17 percent), followed by safety (16 percent), value (14 percent) and performance (6 percent).
"These results make it clear that high fuel prices are continuing to impact driver behaviour and influencing future purchase considerations," said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports' deputy auto editor.
"While quality, safety and value are still important, this may be foreshadowing a market shift by folks seeking relief at the pump."
Nearly 70 percent of respondents said that they expected their next vehicle to return better fuel consumption than the one they're driving now. While petrol prices (90 percent) were the number one reason cited for wanting a more fuel-efficient car, more than half of respondents also had other reasons, including a desire to be more environmentally friendly (62 percent) and a concern about dependence on foreign oil (56 percent).
The survey found that motorists were open to different ways of saving at the pump, from downsizing to looking at hybrids, electric cars, or models with diesel engines.
Is fuel economy your number one factor when buying new? Leave a comment below...