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We use a tool called Crazy Egg to track visitors to our website – more specifically to track whereabouts on each page they click. We do this primarily to help inform design changes but periodically it sheds light on other areas of consumer behaviour.
Recently, we took this screenshot of a ‘heatmap’. The principle is very simple: ‘hot’ colours like red and orange indicate where the most clicks are made on a page. Blue and green colours indicate the areas of a page which receive fewer clicks.
This image represents 25000 clicks on our search box from 5000 randomly sampled visits to the site during April.
As you might expect, most people search by make, model and postcode. What is interesting (to us anyway) is how relatively few people chose options such as mileage or fuel efficiency as part of their search. In fact, both mileage and fuel efficiency were chosen less frequently than even colour!
With fuel prices at a record high we’re surprised that this apparently doesn’t figure more highly in people’s search. With reports that electric car sales are ‘sputtering out‘ despite heavy Government subsidies for the new technology this suggests to us that the public are still unconcerned by green matters.
There are some alternative explanations of course: both engine size and fuel type are big search factors – and many people may assume that smaller engines or diesel cars might be an economic choice. In fact, the best cars in general for those concerned are the specific eco models such as the Polo Bluemotion or Ford’s Zetec ‘ecoboost’ models.
Perhaps, despite everything, initial purchasing price and external factors such as brand perception are still foremost in people’s minds, rather than the ongoing cost of driving to either their wallets or the environment.
The fact, of course, remains that the bulk of a car’s environmental impact is during its manufacture and that arguably, buying a used car is in fact a “green” choice in itself.