Nearly two-thirds of motorists (61%) say they would consider purchasing an electric or hybrid car when they next look to buy, according to a survey of over 20,000 AA members.
AA Financial Services asked 20,410 drivers across the UK the key factors that would influence their buying decisions, with green issues coming out higher than in previous years.
70% of women rated owning a ‘green’ vehicle as important when looking at a range of specific features of a new car. This was less of a priority for men (57%), who were almost twice as likely (20%) than women (12%) to continue using a diesel car.
With the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) coming into force on April 8, Londoners emerged as leading the green agenda, with a quarter of respondents wanting a more environmentally friendly car (25%).
The research also reveals that car buyers in London were most likely to be planning to buy a hybrid car (27%), significantly higher than the national average of 20%, with only 9% saying their next car would be diesel.
London is one of the C40 group of cities that have pledged to reduce emissions by 60% by 2025.
David Searle, the AA’s Director of financial services said: ‘It is clear that the green agenda is hitting home with car buyers. Drivers are clearly aware of the importance of reflecting environmental concerns in their purchasing decisions.
‘We have already noted from previous AA research that the idea of electric cars is catching on and here we see clear signs of a move away from diesel as consumers rank environmental issues above luxury and comfort.
‘Finance is also key. More drivers are looking to reduce the cost of motoring with fuel-efficient cars that are economical to run and I expect to see a vibrant second-hand car market as consumers focus on securing value for money deals.’
A study by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) last month claimed that electric vehicles are now cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway.
They compared the purchase, fuel and tax costs of running electric, hybrid, petrol and diesel versions of the VW Golf, Europe’s best-selling car.
In 2018 in the UK, the sale of new electric cars reached a 6% market share. Diesel car sales fell by 30% but still retained a 32% market share.