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Britons snub smaller-car option

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Despite the cost of running a car being important to most Britons, only one in four would consider fuel economy when buying their next vehicle, according to a survey.

Research by global credit information group Experian found that 67% were concerned by motoring expenses, such as high car insurance premiums, the cost of petrol and fuel efficiency.

But just 18% would consider a vehicle with a smaller engine and 16% would look for a smaller car altogether.

The study found that size, in fact, does matter more to women, with 18% of men saying they would think about downgrading in engine and car size compared with 15% of women. At the same time, 17% of women said they would go for a bigger car in their next purchase, while the figure stood at 15% for men.

The managing director of Experian's automotive division, Kirk Fletcher, said: "There is still a reluctance to downgrade. Most drivers feel they are already driving cars they can afford to run, so their preference would be to buy a similar type of car. Some are still even planning to upgrade."

© Press Association 2009