Do you prefer green or grunt in your car?

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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Though Australians have a rusted-on perception that we love our big V8 utes, Holden sedans or Ford muscle cars. Though we may think we love grunt, are we actually trending green?

According to a survey of 9,500 drivers across Asia-Pacific by Ford (a promotion to spruik their EcoBoost “green” engine) 80% polled said they consider fuel economy as the most important factor in buying a new car. In fact, of those who own high performance cars, 29% said they wish they'd bought something more fuel efficient.

In fact, 32% of respondents who are thinking of buying a new car with better fuel efficiency than their current car, with 23% saying they would buy a more compact car.

80% of those polled said they do make a concerted effort to drive with efficiency in mind. Even so, most people sampled weren't aware of the subtle changes they can make to driving habits to save more fuel.

The gap between thinking green and driving green

Though many people want to drive with greater fuel efficiency, they are unaware of some simple tips and tricks to make your tank go a little bit further. Here are some of the major ones:

  • Clearing your car of heavy items or clutter reduces weight, meaning the engine doesn't have to work as hard to achieve the same speed which in turn saves fuel (53% of respondents were unaware)
  • Aggressive acceleration and braking can increase fuel consumption. Using a smoother, conservative approach can save significant amounts of fuel (33% unaware)
  • Cruise control helps save fuel by letting an onboard computer optimise speed and fuel economy (70% unaware)
  • Driving in mountainous or inclined areas increases fuel consumption (40% unaware)
  • Maintaining your car with logbook services and keeping your tyres inflated can also improve fuel economy over those who do not (33% unaware)

Such low awareness of fuel saving tips is in stark contrast to the concern among respondents that fuel prices will stay high and might force them to drive less over the next 12 months.

The best/worst kind of fuel economy – not driving

78% of Australian respondents don't believe fuel prices will stay at their record low levels over the next year – some capital cities reported lows of under a dollar a litre – 30% more than their counterparts in the Asia-Pacific.

Though most drivers are unaware of fuel saving strategies, 22% of respondents say they will change how they drive to be more fuel efficient. More still will dramatically shift their behaviour when it comes to driving. 34% of respondents are planning to drive less over the next year – which is the highest fuel efficient move you can make! So much for our reputation for being petrolheads!

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