Campaigners have branded four-wheel drive vehicles (a term for SUVs in the UK) "Satan's little runabouts" and called for them to carry health and environmental warnings, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

The paper said the New Economic Foundation think-tank said 4x4s were disproportionately responsible for pollution and traffic injuries. It added warnings on the vehicles and their advertising would help persuade people not to buy them.

According to the Mail, policy director Andrew Simms said: "They are a disproportionate hazard on the road, they are high-polluting and they add disproportionately to the major environmental problem we are facing at the moment, which is global warming."

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he reportedly added: "All in all, they add up to being Satan's little runabout."

The 4x4s are disproportionately responsible for carbon dioxide emissions, other air pollutants and traffic fatalities and injuries, said the think-tank, according to the Mail.

But their use is increasing and accounts for one in four cars sold in the United States, the report added, noting that, in London, they already account for one in seven of all new car sales and the percentage is rising.