The results come after the European Commission approved a new scheme called the Low Carbon Car Fund. This would give buyers of cars with CO2 emissions thought to be below 115 g/km a grant of between £300 - £1,000.
'Buyers need incentives to drive the market for cleaner new cars. The commission has approved the new scheme and we need it in operation quickly', said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive.
The results of the survey showed:
In calling for a clear and stable tax system for motorists, the SMMT had expressed concern to the Chancellor that changing the road tax system for the third time in five years would create more uncertainty. The survey results show the changes have caused confusion.
'This survey shows that consumers still favour considerations of cost to pocket over their environmental concerns', said Macgowan.
'Buyers may be full of good intentions, but when times are tough, they need support to move into greener motoring,' he said.