Some 26 per cent of new private car sales in the Cotswolds are SUVs.

Analysis by climate charity Possible said car makers have spent decades working with advertisers to cultivate demand for vehicles that are far bigger and more powerful than their buyers could ever need.

Their analysis showed that most SUV ownership was in the wealthy London boroughs.

They said SUVs are much worse for the environment than smaller vehicles, and marketers’ promise of escape to the wilderness is very rarely fulfilled.

They called for an end to SUV marketing.