Big 4x4s back in vogue, thanks to the snow

Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:33am EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The coldest winter in Britain for 30 years has left more motorists wanting to buy 4x4 vehicles, a car website said on Thursday.

Snow and ice have made driving conditions treacherous over the past month and have forced many motorists to abandon their vehicles in snowdrifts.

Now Britons are turning to 4x4s, in spite of the higher running costs and environmental concerns, the used cars website Compucars said.

The number of people viewing 4x4s rose 9.3 percent in December on the previous month.

Nearly one in five motorists, 18 percent, are now looking to buy a 4x4, while only 5 percent are considering a small car, such as an Audi TT, a mini or a Ford Ka.

"It is no surprise that 4x4's are the most popular choice for motorists searching for their next car given the dreadful winter driving conditions that UK motorists have been faced with during the past four weeks," said Rob Queen, Compucars group marketing manager.

There appeared to be no respite for motorists, with more snow forecast for the higher ground of Scotland and northern England during the next couple of days followed by isolated wintry showers in the east.

(Reporting by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Steve Addison)

<p>An abandoned car is seen in a ditch in Princes Risborough, southern England in this January 9, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh</p>