New research into the purchasing behaviour of UK car buyers has revealed greater interest in purchasing hybrids and electric cars. A survey showed that 49% of respondents would consider a hybrid and 33% an electric model when making their next purchase.
The statistics, which were released as part of a report by BNP Paribas Personal Finance, also showed a growing divide in the perception and purchasing decisions between urban and rural populations.
In large cities, 55% of those surveyed said they planned to invest in a hybrid vehicle, compared to 42% in smaller towns and rural areas.
This could, the report suggests, in part be accredited to the introduction of travel constraints such as the low emissions zones being introduced in cities such as Birmingham and Leeds.
Diesel vehicles, which are already experiencing a reduced market share, are set to continue to fall in popularity. According to the study, just under a third of motorists intend to invest in a diesel powered car.
Transportation currently accounts for around a third of the UK’s total emissions according to recent government figures, and despite a push from manufacturers to develop cleaner, more environmentally-friendly vehicles, the motor industry is continuing to struggle to shake off negative public perceptions.
According to the report, 69% of the UK population believes cars are the main cause of pollution globally, ahead of other pollutants such as aviation and manufacturing, with those in the 18-34 category most likely to agree with the statement.
Andrew Brameld, managing director of motor finance at BNP Paribas Personal Finance in the UK, said: “It is evident from this research that hybrid and electric vehicles are going to become increasingly important when it comes to the health of the new car market.
“Even though there is still a divide in opinions between older and younger generations and rural and urban drivers, this research has revealed that there is a growing concern amongst all groups about the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions.
“It will be interesting to see how lower fuel prices as a result of the coronavirus crisis will affect purchasing habits. It also remains to be seen whether people will revert back to buying petrol and diesel alternatives in the short term, while those cost savings are place.
“But this report shows that as a developing trend the public is very much on board with government efforts to encourage the sales of environmentally-friendly vehicles and we only expect to see this develop further in coming years.”