Recent market analysis suggests that we are starting to see a trend towards vehicle downsizing, where drivers and companies replace larger, less efficient vehicles with smaller models, often with smaller engines.

In downsizing, these companies and drivers can benefit from the reduced running costs that come with a smaller vehicle. They are lighter and often run smaller turbocharged engines, which can offer better fuel economy, lower road tax and less CO2 emissions.

So in difficult economic conditions and on congested roads, it is no wonder that larger, heavier vehicles are being traded in for smaller, lighter more nimble machines. It makes a lot of sense, especially if there is no clear need to run a large vehicle and something smaller can do the job just as well.

However, this is not a trend that should be followed blindly. I believe that people should be focussing on vehicle ‘rightsizing’ which can mean downsizing but not always. Running costs and environmental impact are very important, but having a vehicle that is safe and fit for purpose is crucial.

Ultimately, if a vehicle can’t effectively do the job that it is designed for, it doesn’t matter how cheap it is to run, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

As an example, for someone in sales, their car in many ways can replicate their office. They are likely to travel long distances, often on motorways, and need to carry information or product so will struggle with the smallest vehicles on the market.

It is not unreasonable for them to need a vehicle that is comfortable, offers decent storage and is designed to handle the distance driving that they do.

Likewise for van drivers, there is no point downsizing to a smaller model that can’t hold the required load. Or alternatively can carry the load but is so heavy that the engine is regularly operating at its limits which throws its fuel economy out of the window and is likely to cost in maintenance.

Of course, there are many examples where a driver can comfortably switch to a smaller vehicle and in this instance it makes perfect sense. However, the job that the car or van needs to do is essential and if it isn’t big enough, it really is a false economy.