Research carried out by AA Cars shows that switching to a less polluting car is the number one reason drivers are planning to buy a vehicle this year.
Nearly a fifth (17%) of drivers are planning to buy a car in 2021, with three-quarters (74%) of them intending to buy second-hand.
A third (33%) of people buying a brand new car, and almost a quarter (24%) of those buying used, say switching to a less polluting car is their primary reason for changing vehicle in 2021.
The findings are borne out in official sales figures of second-hand vehicles from the first three months of 2021. According to the SMMT, sales of used electric vehicles (EVs) grew 48.3% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same time in 2020, aided by the increased availability of pre-owned EVs. Sales of plug-in hybrid cars also grew 32.1%, and hybrid cars by 16.6%.
The increased demand for green cars may be due partly to the Government’s plan to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, but also to Britons’ growing interest in sustainable living and helping the environment.
AA Cars’ research also found a fifth (20%) of drivers are planning to change car this year because they are bored of their current vehicle, while one in 10 (11%) say they need a bigger car.
Demand for used cars remains high on the AA Cars site, with visits up 54% in April compared to the pre-pandemic level of February 2020.
James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars comments: “The environment has become increasingly important to many people in recent years, but it is still surprising to see that the desire to drive a less polluting vehicle is now the number one reason drivers give for wanting to buy a car.
“With the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles now just nine years away, both the demand for, and supply of, EVs is improving fast. More EVs are now on sale than ever before, including on the second-hand market.
“Many secondhand EVs are nearly-new, driven for just a few years under a car finance agreement, but it is recommended that drivers organise a warranty for the car if it is outside the manufacturer warranty period.
“Drivers should also arrange an independent inspection before parting with any money to ensure there are no hidden defects which could prove costly down the road.
“For those who would like to try an EV before committing to buying one, the AA’s Smart Lease allows drivers to lease a brand new EV for a fixed price which includes servicing and maintenance, Car Tax and VAT.”