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Petrol Prices

Is the cost of petrol a consideration of yours when looking to purchase a new car?

Major influence286
Minor influence248
No influence118

The results from this survey were fairly interesting to our office and we've been taking note of the types of cars our customers have booked, comparing them to the fluctuating fuel prices and holiday periods.

There's no doubt that the price of petrol is getting more and more out of hand each month. Just when it looks like it's going down, it goes right back up again. Unless you own an oil rig, or are part of the royal family, you need to take fuel consumption into consideration when buying your own car.

With global warming also on a lot of buyer's brains, the family cars of old have suddenly become a liability. Inner city suburbs are riddled with scooters, little economic cars, and lately, the hybrid types that save on petrol and pollutants.

During the past holiday period, bookings for full size, 4Wheel Drive and People Mover vehicles went up by 21 per cent in Australia, across all major suppliers. In the context of increased petrol prices and the emergence of cheap, energy saving hybrid cars on the market, this is a dramatic increase for the record books.

Are these money saving, environment efficient models the best for you? It depends of course, on your own family needs. It's hard to fit a family of six or seven into a little Prius, so those big Tarago types will never really fade away, just get more energy efficient. Singles and small families only need economic cars for daily use, but when holiday road trip time comes around, something more stable and hearty is needed for the Australian terrain.

More and more are renting larger models in holiday seasons, letting suppliers know that the average family isn't driving one at home, just renting one on an 'as needed' basis. On a whole, these renters are energy and environmentally conscious, but when it comes to Christmas rush, the environment takes the back seat to convenient transport, booking SUV style and petrol guzzling models that fit the whole family.

Will buying a car ever truly be an environmentally friendly act? It doesn't seem so. As long as families still get together at holiday time, travel together and spend time while trying to be financially responsible, those air- polluting models will be on the market. As we know, small cars are better for the environment, so renting a large one for a short period of time is actually an environmentally- friendly choice.

By Leah Bradicich