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Drivers 'opting for smaller cars'

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Motorists are increasingly opting for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars as a result of the surge in fuel prices and squeeze on family budgets, new figures have revealed.

The prices of used small cars have remained stable, whereas asking prices for second-hand large family cars have fallen 23% year-on-year, according to Auto Trader.

Lower medium level cars like Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus have seen a 5% dip in prices during the period. Second-hand cars have generally seen a 1.3% dip in prices, with the average asking price now around £9,054. But some brands like the Ford Fiesta have seen a rise in prices.

Cheaper car insurance deals are also a motivating factor for the motorists who opt for smaller vehicles.

"These results reveal a clear correlation between the current economic situation and car choice, with smaller, more fuel-efficient cars becoming increasingly popular as people respond to fuel price increases," said Auto Trader boss Tim Peake.

He added: "There is also evidence to suggest that families with more than one car are moving back to single-vehicle households."

© Press Association 2011