More needs to be done to alert drivers to CO2 emissions, leading environmental body the Energy Saving Trust has said.
It has called on manufacturers and dealers to go beyond the current level of advertising and VED labelling to better educate motorists.
In a review of car market trends, the EST found that nearly three-quarters of drivers do not know how much CO2 their car emits.
However, drivers do want to go green, with the majority (89%) of drivers asking for more environmental information on new cars.
The EST report found that “car buyers are making poor choices when it comes to the CO2 emissions of their new cars”, and highlighted a “market failure” in educating drivers.
Philip Sellwood, EST chief executive, said: “The car market is failing. There is no good reason why people are continuing to buy inefficient cars. More still needs to be done to educate drivers earlier on in the decision-making process.”
However, the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders has argued that car buyers are becoming more informed on CO2 and that the market has started to shift in favour of lower emitting vehicles