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Car buyers seek greener option

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More motorists than ever before are seeking green alternatives when it comes to buying a new car, a survey has revealed.

Low-emission vehicles are not only better for the environment, they are also kinder on the wallet as low emissions often mean smaller engine size and therefore cheaper car insurance premiums.

The survey for the Newspaper Marketing Agency found that three in four buyers would look for a vehicle with low carbon dioxide emissions when making their next purchase.

Of the 2,665 people questioned, two in three said they would change their choice of car to reduce their emissions, while 51% were prepared to pay more for low-emission technology.

The companies with the best reputation for "doing something" to reduce the impact of cars on the environment were Honda and Toyota, according to the survey. Both scored almost three times as many positive mentions as their closest rivals, Lexus and Ford.

Meanwhile, the only issue that mattered more than environmental impact when choosing a car was fuel efficiency, with 83% agreeing that fuel economy was more important than high performance.

© The Press Association 2008