Customers Cynical of Performance Figures on New Cars

An online survey of motorists has discovered that over 80% of us don’t believe the car manufacturers efficiency statistics when it comes to purchasing a new car.

The survey carried out by giant used car sellers Motorpoint managed to get over 2,000 responses from customers who are “clued up” on what they want from a car, and fuel efficiency is now one of the biggest factors. Of course car manufacturers would argue that the figures they put out are accurate but would also admit they are taken under test conditions.

Experts explain that fuel consumption claims put out by car manufacturers are based on tests described as a combined cycle and are carried out in laboratories and not on the open road. It is a test that will only be carried out on just one test model and will give fuel consumption on an urban cycle and an extra urban cycle. The urban cycle test involves the car travelling at an average speed of 12 mph but going through basic manoeuvres such as braking and accelerating during the 2.5 miles it covers on the rolling road. The extra urban cycle sees the car doing a similar routine but travelling faster and further. The average speed is 39 mph with the car sometimes reaching as much as 75 mph and the distance covered is 4.3 miles. It is worth remembering that the tests are carried out on a rolling road and not on any highway.

This probably explains why the general public are so disillusioned with the fuel performance they get from a new car and probably partly explains why so many motorists now look for motor insurance quotes on used cars. David Shelton, managing director of Motorpoint, certainly thinks so, saying “Fuel efficiency is becoming a bigger factor in the choice of people’s next vehicle as fuel prices continue to soar – and our poll shows how important it is that customers get accurate fuel-consumption figures to help them decide.”

In fact motorists can get accurate fuel consumption figures for their own vehicle when taking it in for a service by asking the garage to download the data from the computer read outs.

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