Research finds a difference in priorities when buying electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars compared to petrol and diesel models

posted on 15/12/2022
Research finds a difference in priorities when buying electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars compared to petrol and diesel models

The UK car buyers surveyed prioritise different things depending on the type of the vehicle they are purchasing - EV, hybrid, petrol or diesel models - a recent study from Aviva finds1. 

Asked about their main priorities when they were looking to buy or lease their current vehicle, most UK car buyers surveyed unsurprisingly cited the price (67%), followed by mileage if buying a used car (31%) and fuel economy (30%). Almost one third (29%) of motorists also said the cost of insurance was an important consideration when deciding to purchase their current vehicle. 

However, the survey of 1,013 people who have purchased a car in the UK in the last three years also found that there is a difference when it comes to priorities based on the type of car bought. While the price was the main priority regardless of the type of car bought, less than half (48%) of those who bought an EV said it was their top priority. In contrast, the price was cited as the top priority by nearly three quarters (72%) of those who bought a petrol car and just under two thirds (65%) of those who purchased a diesel model. Just above half (53%) of hybrid car buyers said price was their top priority when considering their current vehicle. 

Compared to petrol and diesel car buyers, those who bought EVs and hybrid cars tend to put more emphasis on things such as performance and in-car technology as well as environmental impact which was cited one of the top three priorities for one in five (20%) by EV buyers.  

‘Mileage if buying a used car’ didn’t make it into the top five priorities for hybrid car and EV buyers which is probably due to the fact that petrol and diesel models still account for more than nine out of ten used car sales. In Q2 2022, 95.6% of all used cars sold were petrol and diesel cars2.  

Asked why they have decided to buy or lease an EV or hybrid vehicle, most motorists surveyed who have bought or leased an EV/hybrid vehicle in the last 3 years said to save money on fuel (41%), while one in six (16%) decided to do so to reduce the impact on the environment. Just over one in ten (11%) motorists also said they chose an EV or hybrid vehicle for better performance and one in ten said for a quieter, smoother drive (10%). 

The research also reveals that almost two thirds (60%) of EV buyers had concerns before they bought their car and, of those respondents, almost the same proportion (58%) agreed** that now that they own or have owned an EV their concerns were justified. After cost (47%) which was cited as the main concern, EV buyers were most concerned about charging point availability (31%), range (28%), recharging time (27%) and battery longevity (26%). 

What were your main concerns before deciding to buy an EV? Please tick up to three 3: (Respondents who have bought an EV in the last 3 years and had concerns before deciding to do so) 

But help is at hand from Aviva. If a customer’s battery EV runs out of charge, the insurer will now arrange for the RAC to attend. They will either recharge the vehicle with enough power to get them to a working charge point, or tow it home or to the nearest working charge point, whichever is closer, subject to terms and conditions3. 

And there is further peace of mind for EV drivers with Aviva motor insurance.4 They are also covered for electrical breakdown of their home charging point, along with the electrical wiring from the fusebox to the charge point. If this happens, Aviva will arrange for HomeServe to send out an approved engineer to repair or replace the charge point, subject to terms and conditions. 

The study also found that UK car buyers surveyed on average spend 6 weeks researching their next vehicle although those buying an EV (or hybrid car) tend to take a bit of more time, taking an average 7.3 weeks and 6.4 weeks respectively.  

Just over half (54%) of respondents said they turned to car dealers for information and advice about their next vehicle, followed by family and friends (50%) and official car manufacturers websites (32%). Nearly a quarter of respondents also turned to online forums and chat rooms (24%) and social media (22%). 

Matthew Washer, Head of Connected Motor at Aviva commented: “Our research shows the appetite for electric and hybrid models remains high but many motorists still have concerns and there is work to be done to convince everyone that the benefits outstrip any downsides. 

“To give our customers with EVs one thing less to worry about, Aviva has teamed up with the RAC to offer out-of-charge as standard, enabling them to carry on their journey or get home safely if running out of charge. 

“We’ve got them covered at home, too. If their home charging point breaks down, or the wiring between it and the fusebox does, we’ll send a HomeServe engineer to repair or replace it. 

“We’re delighted to be able to provide our customers with some extra peace of mind, and we hope it may encourage even more people to make the switch and go electric.” 

Aviva is the first major insurance company in the world to target Net Zero carbon emissions by 20405 and insures one in nine EVs in the UK. It has also committed to transition its entire fleet to EVs by 2025 and install charging at core points.6

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