Days of petrol­heads might just be over

South Waikato News - - Motoring - FAIR­FAX NZ

A sur­vey by Ford across 11 mar­kets in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion, in­clud­ing New Zealand, sug­gests that petrol­heads are a dy­ing breed.

Eighty-three per cent of new­car cus­tomers say that fuel ef­fi­ciency is more im­por­tant than power when choos­ing a new ve­hi­cle.

A de­sire to save money and high fuel prices are the top rea­sons for avoid­ing cars with a drink­ing prob­lem. An in­ter­est in be­ing more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly fol­lows closely be­hind.

The sur­vey was com­mis­sioned by Ford Mo­tor Com­pany and cov­ered 9500 driv­ers, in­clud­ing 774 in NZ.

When asked the rea­sons for pri­ori­tis­ing fuel ef­fi­ciency, 85 per cent of re­spon­dents from New Zealand cited the de­sire to save money. Other top rea­sons in­cluded con­cern about high fuel prices (68 per cent) and an in­ter­est in be­ing more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly (43 per cent).

Fuel ef­fi­ciency is such a ma­jor fac­tor that nearly onethird (28 per cent) of driv­ers who cur­rently own a pow­er­ful car say that they re­gret not pur­chas­ing a more fuel-ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cle.

’’Driv­ers con­tinue to be sen­si­tive to fuel costs, no mat­ter what the price is at the pump,’’ says Kevin Tal­lio, chief en­gi­neer, En­gine Engi­neer­ing,

The sur­vey re­veals that the de­sire to save money is also re­flected in fuel-pur­chas­ing habits.

Many Nz­ers said they al­ready ap­ply tac­tics to save at the pump, such as wait­ing for lower fuel prices to top up (45 per cent). Forty two per cent say that they al­ways use a coupon when fill­ing up, and 34 per cent say that they only go to fuel sta­tions where they get points for fill­ing up. Only one in three says that they fill up when­ever it suits, re­gard­less of price.

This co­in­cides with a gen­eral wari­ness about NZ’S fuel prices – four out of five re­spon­dents say they don’t trust fuel prices to stay sta­ble over the next year. In the March 2016 quar­ter, NZ was the 19th most ex­pen­sive of the 35 OECD na­tions for quar­terly pre­mium un­leaded petrol prices.

Driv­ers are start­ing to change their driv­ing be­hav­iours too. More than 39 per cent of con­sumers are plan­ning on driv­ing less over the next 12 months and 27 per cent say that they will change their driv­ing habits to use less fuel.

These thrifty be­hav­iours ex­tend to what Ki­wis would do if they could save even more on fuel. More than half of re­spon­dents (53 per cent) said that if they saved 20 per cent on fuel ev­ery month, they would put the ex­tra money to­wards their sav­ings with 42 per cent say­ing they’d use the money to pay off ex­ist­ing debt.

The good old days of fu­el­ing up and not even think­ing about it are long gone, says Ford sur­vey.

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