CarGurus Fuel Chooser

by Chris Knapman

Fuel consumption is now the most important consideration among UK car buyers, overtaking reliability, new research from CarGurus has revealed. The news comes at a time when fuel prices have been hitting all-time highs amidst a general cost of living crisis.

For those considering changing car in order to reduce their fuel costs, CarGurus has created simple-to-use fuel chooser tool, below. With a couple of clicks, our tool will outline the advantages of each of the following fuel types: petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric, as well as point shoppers to other useful articles related to each fuel type.

The fuel chooser tool has been created follwoing a survey of 2,000 motorists commissioned by CarGurus in order to assess what matters most to car-buyers in 2022. Fuel consumption (MPG) topped the list, with 57% of buyers stating it was their number one consideration. This was followed by reliability (55%), road tax (25%), safety/NCAP rating (21%) and design/style (20%).

Further underlining the importance of running costs when choosing a car in 2022, road tax (or vehicle excise duty) climbed to its third place spot from what used to be sixth place prior to recent fuel price rises.

Shell petrol station forecourt UK

When questioned about what factors would be most likely to steer them into buying a more fuel-efficient car, 43% of respondents cited increased fuel prices, while 31% said it was the fight against climate change, and 15% pointed to stricter or larger low emissions zones.

Car Usage Decreases…

Fuel prices are also having an impact on how much people are driving their cars, with average weekly usage dropping by 17.8 miles compared with before fuel prices increased. For many people (47%), that’s because they are avoiding unnecessary journeys, but a fifth of respondents said it was because they are now missing what they describe as necessary journeys in order to reduce fuel use. It appears that higher fuel prices are also impacting on driving style, with a fifth of respondents claiming they are driving more slowly in order to reduce fuel consumption. To avoid having to purchase fuel at today’s prices, 37% of car owners are choosing to walk more often, 18% are using more public transport, and 12% are cycling.

…While EV Consideration Increases

The increase in fuel prices has also caused more people to start considering the purchase of an electric vehicle – and sooner than before, too. In total, 67% of respondents said that fuel price rises had brought forward the date by which they thought they’d own an EV, in many cases by up to two years. That said, among those surveyed, cost remains the number one barrier to electric car uptake, followed by lack of public charging infrastructure, lack of ability to charge at home, and range anxiety.

What to Know About Your Car’s Fuel Economy

Buyer’s Remorse

Of those surveyed, only 57% said they would have still bought their car if fuel prices had been at today’s level, with almost a quarter (23%) now wishing they’d chosen something that was cheaper to run, and 4% saying they wouldn’t have purchased a car at all. Additionally, 4% of respondents said they’d have purchased an EV if fuel prices had been at current levels when they purchased their car.

Fuel-Saving Tips

While changing cars to a more fuel-efficient model isn’t an option that’s open to all motorists, there are some things that any driver can do to help optimise the economy of their current vehicle.

  • Remove unnecessary weight from your car
  • Whether it’s removing clutter from the boot, or emptying those old CDs from the glovebox, taking unnecessary weight out of your car will help to maximise mpg.
  • Take off that roof rack
  • A roof rack or bike rack can play havoc with a car’s aerodynamic performance. If they’re not in use, remove them.
  • Driving smoothy
  • Hard acceleration burns more fuel, so aim to keep inputs smooth. By anticipating what’s ahead you’ll also be able to minimise fuel-sapping changes of speed.
  • Plan your air-conditioning
  • A car’s air-conditioning system puts more strain on its engine. At low speeds, try switching off your car’s air-conditioning and open the windows or sunroof instead. Turn it back on above 20-30mph, where the excess wind resistance caused by an open window can start to use more fuel than running the air-con.
  • Feel the (tyre) pressure Check your car’s tyre pressures match up to the manufacturer’s recommendations (you can find them in the car’s handbook or printed either in the fuel flap or door frame). Too low and it’ll affect rolling resistance and result in bigger fuel bills.

For more fuel saving tips, head to our guide: How to Save Fuel When Driving Your Car

Related Topics:

The content above is for informational purposes only and should be independently verified. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.