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 HGCA survey of 1000 drivers, relayed to a recent farmers” workshop in Wantage, Oxon.

As many as 4% of those surveyed said they would fork out up to 1/litre for biofuel, 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 biofuels, 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. “Only 37% of respondents had never heard of biofuel.”