A win is a win, right? We're content to consider the fact that two-thirds of new car buyers in the U.K. are considering going green for their next car purchase a good thing, despite the fact that most of them are doing so to save money, not the environment. What Car? group editor Steve Fowler says that "with the cost of living increasing and with wages failing to keep up, car buyers are saying financial pressures are of more concern than helping the environment." If this is the case, it seems that new graduated road taxes in the U.K. may have the desired effect of forcing consumers to purchase low-emitters. Follow past the break for the entire press release.

Press Release:

66% of car buyers will go green (but most will do it to save cash)

A What Car? survey reveals today that two-thirds of prospective new car purchasers will be looking to buy a greener vehicle in the next 12 months.

However, 47% of purchasers say they will be buying a greener car for financial reasons, while only 19% say environmental issues are the main factors for their next car.

Steve Fowler, What Car? group editor, said: "The Government will be pleased with this news coming so soon after Alistair Darling's Budget. However, with the cost of living increasing and with wages failing to keep up, car buyers are saying financial pressures are of more concern than helping the environment."

Last month, Chancellor Alistair Darling announced a raft of measures in his first Budget designed to encourage motorists to buy more environmentally friendly cars. These measures included new Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) bands that will come into force in 2009, which will make buyers of more polluting cars pay more in road tax.

Plus, in 2010, the Government will introduce a so-called 'Showroom Tax' where buyers of the most polluting cars will pay a new, higher rate of tax in the first year ownership, while new cars with carbon dioxide emissions of less than 130g/km will not pay any road tax in the first year.

"Even if you aren't planning to buy a new car soon, motorists can still do their bit for their environment by following the What Car? guide to 'Greener Driving'," said Fowler.

1. Driving at 60mph uses up to 9% less fuel than at 70mph and, on more advanced vehicles, motorists can take advantage of cruise control – a steady speed is also more fuel efficient.
2. Keep weight down – ensure your car is as free of clutter as possible, and remove roof and bicycle racks when not in use.
3. Plan your journey and use a satellite-navigation system or on-line routing site before you set off. Getting lost or stuck in traffic pumps additional CO2 into the atmosphere.
4. Travel outside of rush hour to avoid congestion.
5. Try not to use all of your car gadgets at once – they all use energy and contribute to your vehicle's CO2 output.
6. Be a better driver and read the road ahead – hang back from the traffic in front so you don't have to brake and accelerate every time it slows down and speeds up.
7. Turn engines off when stuck in traffic or when waiting for passengers to arrive.
8. Consider offsetting your emissions – look at websites such as www.climatecare.org that can help calculate your CO2 output.
9. Look at car sharing, set up a system at your place of work or start a car-sharing school-run.

What Car? will be announcing the winners of their first Green Awards at the British International Motor Show on the 22rd July 2008 at ExCeL London.

What Car? will also be showcasing the latest environmental cars and technology in the Greener Driving Pavilion, where consumers can get hands-on with some of the latest green innovations available now and see what's coming in the future.

[Source: What Car?]

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