McDonalds may be giving away free Hummer models to kids, but sales of SUVs (4x4s) in America have slumped 28 per cent in the last year. Now for the first time in recent years, SUV sales are now beginning to slow down in the UK. It may mean our love affair with gas-guzzling cars is beginning to wane, despite what your kids take home after eating their fries.

The decrease in SUV sales in the UK is small but analysts say it is significant. In the UK, ten years ago, only 78,000 new SUVs or 4x4s were sold. By 2005 the figure had risen to more than 187,000. This year in the first seven months 105,196 new SUVs were sold, but this is down slightly from the 2005 figure. This is the first time this has happened.

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone is credited with putting people off “Chelsea Tractors” as they are known in London, by proposing a £25 congestion charge in the capital for cars with high carbon emissions, compared with the present £8.

Ken Hurst, editorial director of The Manufacturer magazine, who has been monitoring the figures, said they were a definite sign that SUV popularity was decreasing. “Possibly children who once saw the vehicles as status symbols now feel ashamed when they are dropped off at the school gates,” he said.

Still feeling like that Big Mac?