Matt Greenop on motoring
Matt Greenop is editor of Driven magazine

Matt Greenop: Looks or practicality

Canstar Blue unveiled their survey showing how different parts of the country pick their rides this week. Photo / NZHArchive
Canstar Blue unveiled their survey showing how different parts of the country pick their rides this week. Photo / NZHArchive

What drives (sorry) your car purchases? It was interesting this week to hear the results of a survey by Canstar Blue showing how different parts of the country pick their rides.

Perhaps most surprising was that 20 per cent of new-car buyers made their choice based on technology rather than safety features. Crikey. Oh, as long as there's Bluetooth audio streaming it doesn't really matter about curtain airbags. The kids have got pretty thick skulls anyway.

Those in the provinces probably wouldn't be surprised to hear that more than half of drivers in the big smoke chose their car based solely on appearance. While this was key for 40 per cent of people on average, 52 per cent of Aucklanders were picking vehicles based on aesthetics - as long as you look good when you're stuck in traffic, apparently.

Men, too, were more concerned about their car's looks than women. Maybe the tales of wives choosing car colours to match their favoured colours are myth. Three-quarters of new-car buyers rate fuel economy as a big factor, and thankfully reviews and tests are a bigger influence than friends and family.

Here are some key facts by area:

Aucklanders: 30 per cent regard the car as a status symbol, 80 per cent factor fuel economy into their decision and they are most likely to ask friends and family for advice (69 per cent).

BOP people: Don't care too much about fuel economy with 61 per cent not factoring it, least likely to seek advice from their mates and family (41 per cent) and most likely not to seek advice at all (37 per cent).

Waikato folk: Half see their car as a reflection of their personality, while they're least likely to see their car as a status symbol (15 per cent) and 22 per cent won't seek buying advice from any source.

Wellingtonians: Equal with Auckland as most likely to consider fuel economy (80 per cent) and least likely to prioritise technology (11 per cent).

*These results are pretty interesting, but we'd like to hear what Driven readers rate as important - tell us, vote on the poll on or

For more car news go to

- NZ Herald

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