Drivers keen to downsize

The cost of health insurance, home purchase prices, utilities, groceries … Everything seems to demand a bigger slice of our wallet now. So what about your car? Have increased general expenses pushed you towards considering a smaller, more efficient vehicle?

Drivers keen to downsizeIf so, you’re not alone. Since 2010, Canstar Blue has surveyed almost 9,000 Australian consumers who have purchased a brand new car from a dealership in the previous three years. And nearly half (43%) of those respondents said they were considering downsizing their vehicle to a more efficient model in accordance with the rising cost of living.

Somewhat surprisingly, hatchback drivers were the most likely to consider downsizing their vehicles with 45% saying they were considering making the change. Sedan drivers were close behind, with 43% expressing interest in a vehicle downsized. Interestingly enough, SUV/4WD drivers, despite owning the biggest and least fuel efficient cars, were the least inclined to downsize their car, with only 37% considering a downsize.

Source: Canstar Blue research, conducted by Colmar Brunton, September 2014, n= 1,961.
Source: Canstar Blue research, conducted by Colmar Brunton, September 2014, n= 1,961.

So – what’s smaller than a hatchback? Well, perhaps drivers could consider a motorbike…  Otherwise, NRMA lists these models as the top 10 cheapest micro cars to operate:

  • Mitsubishi Mirage ES 3 Cyl 1,193cc 5 SP manual FWD 5D hatchback
  • Mitsubishi Mirage Sport 3 Cyl 1,193cc 5 SP manual FWD 5D hatchback
  • Mitsubishi Mirage ES 3 Cyl 1,193cc continuous variable FWD 5D hatchback
  • Suzuki Alto GL 3 Cyl 996cc 5 SP manual FWD 5D hatchback
  • Holden Barina Spark CD 4 Cyl 1,206cc 5 SP manual FWD 5D hatchback
  • Mitsubishi Mirage LS 3 Cyl 1,193cc 5 SP manual FWD 5D hatchback
  • Mitsubishi Mirage Sport 3 Cyl 1,193cc continuous variable FWD 5D hatchback
  • Holden Barina Spark CD 4 Cyl 1,248cc 4 SP automatic FWD 5D hatchback
  • Mitsubishi Mirage LS 3 Cyl 1,193cc continuous variable FWD 5D hatchback
  • Volkswagen UP! 3 Cyl 999cc 5 SP manual FWD 3D hatchback

Back to the Canstar Blue survey and Victorians were more likely to consider downsizing than individuals from other states (46%). In terms of demographics, Baby Boomers were the least receptive to the idea, with only 29% considering downsizing, compared to Generation Ys (47%) and Xs (46%).

The research from 2015 also showed that men were more likely to consider downsizing than women, with 46% of men contemplating a smaller car, compared to only 39% of women. Big or small, there’s no doubt that Australian drivers are spoilt for choice, with approximately 70 car brands and sub-brands on the market. Chances are, no matter what your size requirements, you’ll find something that suits your needs and budget.

Check out some of Canstar Blue’s motor vehicle ratings here.

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