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Brits want to remain in the driver's seat, as sceptical motorists are not ready for driverless vehicles

7 August 2018

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Well over half (55%) of UK motorists would not consider purchasing an autonomous vehicle, with scepticism around safety and technology causing the biggest concerns, according to the Britain Under the Bonnet report from Close Brothers Motor Finance. Just a fifth (20%) would consider buying a car with partial or total self-driving features.

Ahead of new guidelines being introduced by the government this year, which will allow autonomous vehicles to be tested without a human for the first time in the UK, the report found that UK motorists have major concerns. One in five (19%) do not trust the technology and over a quarter (26%) would need to see more evidence in relation to safety before ever considering one. Almost one five (19%) also said they simply don’t like the idea of them. 

Younger drivers are warmer to driverless vehicles, with almost a third (32%) of 22-30 year olds showing interest in purchasing one, compared to just one in ten (11%) of the 45+ cohort. There’s also a glaring gender gap, with only 15% of women considering driverless cars compared to 23% of their male counterparts. 

Sean Kemple, Director of Sales, Close Brothers Motor Finance, commented: “The momentum of discussion around autonomous cars continues to grow, but unanimously positive consumer sentiment toward these vehicles has yet to come into fruition. 

“The general consensus on the future of cars currently resides with converting fossil fuel vehicles into electric; consequently, there could be some time until we see a mass adoption of autonomous motors. Despite this, in order to keep ahead of the curve dealers would be wise to engage with the developments of autonomous vehicles so that they have a holistic view of the industry. This will allow them to make the most informed decisions about these types cars, for their forecourts, when the time comes.”
 

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