Fifth of new cars in Putney 4x4s

Controversial vehicles making big increase in market share

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Often know in the press as the 'Chelsea' tractor there may be a case for changing the name to Putney as figures from Black Horse Motor Finance show the popularity of 4x4s in this area.

Four wheel drives make up 21% of new cars sold in Putney. This makes SW15 one of the biggest buyers of these types of vehicle - only Battersea and Kingston, with and astonishing 43%, bought a higher proportion.

This year was the first time, according to these figures that London became the biggest buyers of 4x4s. Overall 14.9% of new car purchases were 4x4s against an 11.9% rate for the UK as a whole.

4x4s owners in London have been blasted by the Mayor as 'complete idiots' for buying cars which were not designed for use in urban traffic. They are often blamed for school run related traffic chaos. Their defenders point out that family cars tend to be big and there is little difference in road space taken between an estate or MPV compared to a 4x4.

Psychologist, Martin Lloyd-Elliott, says: "Driving a 4x4 gives people a feeling of safety and security in the urban jungle. There's comfort in their size and strength, and in the perception that they are unstoppable. 4x4s represent status and power, dominance and determination. They are a new expression of the successful family."

Black Horse has compiled The UK 4WD Buyers League, based on the buying decisions made by over 70,000 customers.

July 30, 2004