It’s the news the green lobby, and the government, has been waiting to hear: a survey by What Car? has revealed that two-thirds of car buyers will be ‘going green’ when they choose a new car in the next 12 months.
So is it time for the greenies to break out the elderflower cordial? Not likely. The survey by our sister magazine found that 47% of prospective buyers would be choosing a greener car for financial reasons – whereas only 19% were swayed by environmental concerns.
Chancellor Alistair Darling, in his first budget, changed the road tax bands to encourage motorists to buy more environmentally friendly cars. In 2009, high polluting cars will pay more in road tax and in 2010, no road tax will be paid on new cars with low emissions (less than 130g/km) in their first year. So clearly the Government wants us to start buying more green cars (or at least, sees it as voter-friendly tax-raising measure to replenish the Treasury’s dwindling coffers).
But as this survey shows, we’ve obviously got a long way to go on the road to green revolution. We might want to look after the planet, but only if we can look after our wallets too. If buying green means buying expensive, the majority of customers won’t or can’t go there. But when buying green means buying cheap, they probably will.
As more companies take up the green mantle, the lesson is there for anyone looking to increase sales of their product – particularly in the current uncertain financial climate. Being green helps. But being cheaper is just as important...