Fuel economy is now the most important factor motorists take into consideration when hunting for their next car.

Research from the car leasing website ContractHireAndLeasing.com reveals that fuel economy came first in a list of 10 key considerations.

A survey of 398 web users, consisting of a mix of business and personal car leasing customers, found that fuel economy was rated as very important by almost half (47%) of respondents.

This even beat fuel type (diesel or petrol car etc) as a consideration, which 35% rated as a very important consideration, taking second place. VED rate, which is determined by CO2 emission level, came in third place, rated as very important by 27%.

In contrast, the colour of the vehicle was deemed to be the least important factor by 11% of respondents.

Other options included benefit-in-kind rate, transmission, performance, standard spec and quick delivery.

ContractHireAndLeasing.com managing director Dave Timmis commented: “Motorists are savvy and are looking for cars which won’t squeeze their wallets when they get to the pump.

“This is becoming the most important consideration to consumers as they are aware of the ever-increasing price of a litre of fuel and are expecting more and more from their cars.”