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Motorists downsize to save cash

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Almost one in five drivers have sold their car or been forced to downsize since the start of the credit crisis in order to save cash, research shows.

Of the 19% who changed their vehicles over the past 18 months, 61% said they made the decision to save on fuel.

Nearly a third (29%) said they did it to cut the cost of insurance premiums, and the same number said they wanted lower road taxes, according to a survey by insurer LV=.

It was estimated that since downsizing, motorists have already saved an average of £309. But despite the emphasis from the Government on "greener" driving, only one in six (15%) of those who had downsized did so due to environmental concerns.

The rush to downsize has been felt by the motor industry. Sales of new cars have fallen by a third over the past year, as motorists hope to make savings by choosing second hand over brand new.

Almost one in four (23%) of those surveyed said they would consider buying a second-hand car to reduce insurance premiums.

© Press Association 2009