According to a UK report, buyers are opting for smaller vehicles, a trend that has been noted in South Africa as well, as people become more image (and pocket) conscious.

According to a UK report, buyers are opting for smaller vehicles, a trend that has been noted in South Africa as well, as people become more image (and pocket) conscious.

A Glass Information Services report has noted that the proportion of saloon cars sold in the UK over the last ten years has fallen from 21,2 per cent to 10,6 per cent. Sales of smaller cars now account for 25,8 per cent of the market compared with 26,4 per cent ten years ago.

European brands wanting to make a prestige name for themselves have begun to increasingly dominate the premium end of the small-car market, which has grown steadily in recent years as more buyers look for cars that suit their image.

Most other segments, including premium cars, are up at the expense of the traditional booted family saloon. And despite offering saloon cars, the perceived 'premium' manufacturers account for an increased share of UK sales. Such manufacturers, including Audi, BMW and Mercedes, now hold 17 per cent of the market, up from eight per cent ten years ago.

"Over the past 10 years, vehicle manufacturers have invested heavily in the development of new niche models to satisfy a growing appetite ... for vehicles that offer greater flexibility and individuality", said Glass's analyst Alan Cole.

"We have also seen prestige marques take sales from the leading volume car makers, although the widely perceived exclusivity of these premium-priced cars may well diminish if, as expected, this trend continues over the coming decade."

Last month, CARtoday.com reported that high car prices on the local market meant that more people were buying smaller category cars, which are now equipped with more powerful engines too.

Original article from Car