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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
4x4 sales fall faster in London
A 4x4 car
The cost of owning a 4x4 is turning buyers away, say the Green Party
Sales of 4x4 vehicles have fallen faster in London than in the rest of the UK, new figures show.

There were 3,172 sold between January and May, down from 3,402 in the same period last year, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This amounts to a 7% fall in sales of 4x4s in London, compared with 5% drop nationally, their report said.

The Green Party said the steeper fall in London reflects motorists' expectation of higher charges for 4x4s.

Environmental impact

London Mayor Ken Livingstone wants to raise the congestion charge for the most polluting vehicles, which include some 4x4s, to 25.

Several local authorities have introduced or are considering higher parking fees for so-called gas-guzzlers.

And last year, the government raised vehicle excise duty for the most polluting petrol-fuelled cars to 210.

Darren Johnson, of the London Assembly Green Party, said such measures were forcing people to think carefully about the cars they buy.

He said: "Londoners are obviously thinking twice before buying gas-guzzlers because they understand that less polluting cars are good for the climate and good for their wallet"

Sheila Ranger, of the RAC Foundation, said motorists were now taking environmental factors into consideration.

"For some motorists, 4x4s are essential, such as people in rural areas or workers who need extra space," she said.

"But those for whom it's a lifestyle choice, we are noticing more and more are now more conscious of the environmental impact."

Study 'to show fall in 4x4 sales'
06 Dec 06 |  Business
Polluting cars face charge rise
14 Nov 06 |  London
Most car brands 'failing on CO2'
25 Oct 06 |  Science/Nature

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