AA data reveals 20% increase in EV interest

Interest in used electric vehicles rose by almost 20% in 2020, despite the pandemic, new analysis by AA Cars has revealed.

The AA’s used car site revealed that searches for EVs on the platform have been growing steadily year after year, increasing 47 times since 2015 with interest in electric cars growing by 18.85% year-on-year in 2020.

Demand is set to increase by a further 42% during 2021, it claimed, if the growth so far this year stays on course for the remaining three quarters. As these searches were all carried out during lockdown, this figure could rise higher as restrictions ease and people return to their normal car-buying habits, the AA claimed.

The continued growth of the used EV market during 2020 comes against an overall fall of sales of new cars by 29.4%. But sales of EVs rose by 185.9% during this period with EVs now making up 6.6% of the total sales of new cars last year.

London had the highest number of searches for EVs in the country with nearly 55,000 searches for EVs on the AA Cars alone site in the past two years. It was followed by the UK’s other major cities, with Bristol recording the second highest number of searches for EVs in 2019 and 2020, followed by Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.

Walsall was home to the most searches per 100,000 people in 2020, followed by Newcastle and Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. 

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “Interest in EVs and environmentally friendly vehicles has been growing at pace over recent years and has accelerated further still during the pandemic.

“The good news for drivers taking their first steps towards buying an EV is that there is an ever-growing fleet of electric cars coming onto the secondhand market.

“It means there is more choice than ever before, and many affordable models available, with prices significantly lower than the cost of buying a brand new EV.

“Many secondhand EVs are nearly-new, often driven by someone for a couple of years under a car finance agreement, meaning they will still be within the manufacturers’ warranty period.

“It is recommended that drivers organise their own warranty for the car if it is outside the manufacturer warranty period. An AA Warranty, for example, offers unlimited claims up to the market value of the car, so drivers know they will always be covered if something goes wrong.

“We know drivers still have some questions about used EVs. For peace of mind, we recommend drivers always look for a car with a full service history, as this will mean it will have had all its software updates, and regular inspections. It is also important to have a vehicle inspected before purchase, to ensure there are no hidden defects which could prove costly down the road.

“The AA has also launched its Smart Lease, where drivers can lease a brand new EV, for a fixed price which includes servicing and maintenance, Vehicle Tax and VAT. This is a great introduction for anyone who wants to try an EV, but doesn’t want to commit to purchasing one outright.”

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