But company car drivers are only mentioned once in the 22-page report and benefit-in-kind tax is ignored.
The report, put together by poll firm MORI, asked buyers and dealers about the use of labels rating 'greenness' but virtually ignored the usefulness of labels to employees investigating their next company car selection in terms of their tax bill.
Indeed, the only time company car drivers – who drive about half of all new cars bought every year – were mentioned, the report said: 'Car buyers are generally not interested in fuel emissions or VED/tax band – with the exception possibly of company car drivers, who are more aware of the financial implications of emissions bands – and this lack of interest is acknowledged by sales staff.'
The report concludes that buyers of new cars are generally uninterested in the environmental impact of new cars.
It said: 'What is significant is that environmental performance – as measured in CO2 emissions – rarely figures at all in people's thinking. When people do think about whether a car is 'green', they tend to do so in terms of fuel consumption, not carbon emissions.'
A label rating cars from A to G based on CO2 emissions was preferred by respondents as it gave a pointer towards the level of VED tax to be paid, suggesting the vast majority of those polled were private buyers.
A decision on the style of label to be used on cars will be made in the first half of next year.