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More Drivers Revealed To Be Buying Environmentally Friendly Cars

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Motorists are looking to buy second-hand cars which are kinder to the environment, a new study shows.

In research carried out by Experian, it was revealed that sales of used diesel vehicles went up by four per cent over the course of 2007. Purchase levels of such automobiles have witnessed a 50 per cent rise in the last five years. In addition, environmentally-friendly vehicles were shown to be becoming more popular among the nation's drivers. During the year, sales of used electric cars surged by some 473.5 per cent, with hybrid-fuel automobiles posting a growth of 71.8 per cent. On the other hand, sales of second-hand cars which run on petrol plummeted by 4.4 per cent. On an overall basis however, used car sales have fallen by 2.4 per cent - the largest fall recorded since 2005.

Research from the firm also revealed that sales of used-hybrid cars in the north-west went up by 99.1 per cent - the largest growth. In 2006, 155 such vehicles were sold in the region, with this rising to 309 last year. Meanwhile, second-hand electric automobiles saw the fastest increase in East Anglia. Overall, the majority of sales for both these types of vehicles were revealed to take place in the south-east and Greater London areas.

For those looking for an effective way to fund purchasing a car, taking out a personal loan may be of assistance.

The study also showed that sports cars, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and multi-purpose vehicles all increased in popularity over the course of last year. In particular, SUV sales were strongest in the West Midlands. Meanwhile, the north-east of England was the only region in the country to witness a drop in the purchasing of such automobiles, with this part of Britain also recording the highest fall in all used car sales. Experian also indicated used multi-purpose vehicle sales were the strongest in the Greater London region.

Commenting on the figures, Kirk Fletcher, managing director of Experian's automotive division, said: "There has been a lot of media attention, not only around the environment and the effect of the most polluting cars, but also on the forthcoming car tax increases and the rise in fuel duty. These latter factors appear to have played a more significant role in consumer buying habits over the last few years. A slow housing market and the squeeze on spending have left consumer confidence low and this, in turn, hit the used car sector hard last year."

Mr Fletcher also pointed out that the increased costs of running a car "have not helped matters". Despite this, he stated that people are still willing to splash money on an automobile, although second-hand car dealers must now do more to attract customers. The Experian director added that motorists are becoming "more aware and want more information upfront before making a decision".

As wider financial difficulties continue to grip Britain, those looking for an effective way to fund purchasing a car might wish to consider getting a personal loan. By doing so, consumers may be able to purchase whatever type of vehicle they have their eye on quickly and be left with affordable monthly repayments to make. A loan might also be of help to those looking to purchase a comprehensive car insurance policy. Recent research by moneysupermarket showed that by automatically choosing the insurance policy offered by their existing supplier, drivers may see the cost of their premium rise by hundreds of pounds.
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