80% of drivers ‘don’t care’ about their car’s emissions

Despite link to road tax, road users unconcerned how green their cars might be

Seven out of ten drivers neither know nor care about their vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions, despite the financial link between pollution levels and Vehicle Excise Duty.

According to a national vehicle leasing company, most drivers are vaguely aware of some connection between their car and the amount they pay in so-called road tax, but are unconcerned about their own CO2 output.

Flexed.co.uk found that motorist still think the amount of tax is dependent on engine size rather than carbon dioxide output, but many wouldn’t bother changing their cars to get a cheaper tax disc.

“While car manufacturers are falling over themselves put greener engines in their cars, it turns out that most drivers couldn’t care less,” said Flexed.co.uk‘s Jonathan Ratcliffe .

These gloomy findings come as a result of a poll of 1250 drivers who were asked if they knew that their car’s vehicle excise was calculated on the basis of its emissions.

• Yes 35%
• No 65%

Asked if they would change their current car if it meant a cheaper tax disc:

• Yes 20%
• No 80%

Would you switch to an electric car if it meant paying no vehicle excise duty at all?

• Yes 36%
• No 64%

Flexed.co.uk says that these figures show that the green driving message simply isn’t getting through to many drivers.

“Despite recent falls in the price of petrol, most road users have simply given up caring about the cost of motoring – both in cash and environmental terms,” said Jonathan Ratcliffe.

“Many drivers we spoke to would rather vehicle excise were scrapped altogether, so everybody pays a fairer amount based on fuel consumption.”

Current duty rates put petrol and diesel cars into 13 bands depending on the amount of CO2 they emit per kilometre. Cars with less than 100g/km pay no duty; while vehicles which emit more than 255g/km can pay £1,065 in their first year on the road.*

“There’s no current campaign on green motoring,” said Ratcliffe. “Drivers should be able to make informed choices. Instead they have no idea how the system works.”