Two south London boroughs rank among the top ten areas where people are most likely to buy an SUV.

New research shows SUVs are most popular in affluent urban and suburban areas, with Chelsea topping the list, followed by Richmond in fourth place and Wandsworth in seventh.

The study, conducted by Badvertising, a new campaign to stop adverts fuelling the climate emergency, found two thirds of SUVs are registered to urban households.

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The report further found that areas where SUVs are most popular correspond closely with those where road space is most scarce.

These areas are also where the highest proportion of cars are parked on-street.

Andrew Simms, from the New Weather Institute, which organises the Badvertising campaign, said: "It turns out that the home of the 'Chelsea tractor' really is Chelsea.

“One of advertising's biggest has persuaded urban families that it's perfectly 'normal' to go shopping in a two-tonne truck.

"But the human health and climate damage done by SUVs is huge and needs to be undone. Just as tobacco advertising was successfully ended, it's time to stop promoting polluting SUV's."

Campaigners claim manufacturers have used advertising to persuade people it is “normal” to use the vehicles with off-road features for shopping trips, rather than driving in rural conditions.

Advertisers have cultivated demand for vehicles far bigger than their buyers would need in practice by appealing to consumers' desires to “protect their families”, “dominate the road”, “help the environment” and “get back to nature”, it is claimed.

Despite these messages being highly attractive, evidence suggests SUV occupants are no safer than normal occupants and that the promise of escaping to the wilderness is rarely fulfilled.

Research by the International Energy Agency said that growing demand for SUVs is the second largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions.

While it is accepted that SUVs do “dominate the road”, whether this is safe, or desirable, is questioned.

The report recommends an end to SUV advertising and a renewed commitment to tackling climate change within the advertising industry.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, urged drivers to choose “the right vehicle for the right trip, to cut the size of our carbon footprint”.

But he warned that the term SUV has become “so broad as to be unhelpful”.

He added: “Whilst it’s right to question whether suburban drivers really need a car capable of ploughing over rivers, across fields and up steep hills just to pop to the shops, with all the negative consequences for emissions that entails, other motorists might just be seeking the comfort and convenience of relatively tall but still modestly sized cars that still come with the SUV badge but are economical to run."

Here are the ten areas where SUV ownership is highest:

1. Kensington and Chelsea - 36 per cent

2. Hammersmith and Fulham - 30 per cent

3. Westminster - 29 per cent

4. Richmond upon Thames - 27 per cent

5. Cotswold - 26 per cent

6. Elmbridge - 26 per cent

7. Wandsworth - 26 per cent

8. Camden - 26 per cent

9. South Bucks - 23 per cent

10. Sevenoaks - 22 per cent