NEARLY ONE in five people is prepared to pay more for car fuel derived from crops rather than mineral oil.

That is the suggestion behind an Home-Grown Cereals Authority survey of 1000 drivers, relayed to a recent farmers workshop in Wantage, Oxon.

As many as four per cent of those surveyed said they would fork out up to £1/litre for bio-fuel, against a base price of 80p/litre for unleaded petrol.

“We were quite surprised that 18% of the sample said they would pay more,” said the HGCA‘s Rebecca Geraghty.

The finding counters the petrol industry‘s view that consumers are particularly averse to spending more on bio-fuels, she added.

When asked to describe biofuel, the motorists‘ responses showed their perceptions of it varied widely. But most had some idea of what it was.

“We were surprised that only 37% had never heard of it,” said Miss Geraghty.

“The survey showed that there is a proportion of the population that isn‘t as price-sensitive as we think they are.”

That is reflected in supermarkets where conservation grade food, for example, packaged and presented correctly attracts premium prices, she noted.

Let us know what you think by taking part in our Biofuel poll.