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One in five drivers wants to go green, but affordability and fuel type win out

25 October 2018


Almost three quarters (71%) of UK motorists say affordability is a main consideration when purchasing a new vehicle, according to the Britain Under the Bonnet report from Close Brothers Motor Finance. A further 56% care about how economical a vehicle is to run, showing additional interest in cost. Other key attributes include fuel type (55%), engine size (49%), and number of doors (47%).  

How environmentally friendly the vehicle is was classed as a major consideration for just under one in five (18%) drivers, yet failed to make the top ten. Despite the political emphasis placed on electric cars, more drivers are concerned about the colour of their vehicle than the effect it will have on the environment. 

The report also found that more than a quarter (28%) of drivers wouldn’t consider buying an electric car, with 47% blaming the initial cost as being too expensive. Other reasons influencing motorists’ decision to not purchase an electric car include, the range being limited (43%), long charging times (36%) and the technology needing improvement (46%).

When buying a car, motorists say the main considerations are:

  1. Affordability (71%)
  2. How economical it is to run (56%)
  3. Fuel type (55%)
  4. Engine size (49%)
  5. Number of doors (47%)
  6. Existing mileage (43%)
  7. Manufacturer (40%)
  8. Safety rating (34%)
  9. Boot size (33%)
  10. Colour (29%)

Sean Kemple, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, commented: “With Brexit looming, political and economic uncertainty are undoubtedly having an effect on consumer confidence. For those looking to make big-ticket purchases such as a new vehicle it’s understandable that the power is in the purse strings. 

“Dealers need to ensure that they’re able to provide a comprehensive offering to their customers, with an affordable and attractive range of stock, good financing options, and informed advice and guidance. We’re seeing drivers taking more time to thoroughly research their options before purchasing, and it’s vital that suppliers are equipped to meet the evolving demands of their customers." 

The research also found that when it comes to gender, men are more likely to worry about the car’s top speed, with 10% prioritising it compared to 6% of women. Men are also more likely than woman to ensure their next vehicle has a sat navigation system (16% vs 9%) and a DAB radio (11% to 6%). 

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