Drivers of crossover cars are most likely to ‘go green’ with their next purchase

Drivers are more concerned about green credentials (24%), than cost-efficiency (18%) when buying a new car, according to new research from AA Financial Services.

The data also shows that older drivers are now as likely as younger drivers to want to go eco-friendly with their next car purchase (20% Vs. 20% respectively).

The research comes soon after a Government announcement that sales of new diesel, petrol and hybrid vehicles will be banned from 2035 or earlier – at least five years earlier than the previous target of 2040.

Aside from the need to replace an old car (35%), the research found the second biggest incentive for the 1,267 drivers was the environment (24%) – more specifically, 19% want a vehicle that emits less Co2 whilst one in six want one that is less polluting (16%). In fact, they are more likely to prioritise the environment when switching car than opting for a car that is more cost-efficient (18%).

Other key considerations when changing car:
•      15% want a brand new car
•      12% want a car that’s more reliable
•      10% want to buy a specific car model
•      9% want to buy a larger vehicle – bigger family / changed circumstances
•      9% want a car that’s more comfortable for longer journeys
•      8% want a car with better safety features
•      8% wants a car with more features or gadgets

Regions go green
With the Ultra Low Emission Zones introduced last April to improve air quality in the capital, the AA research found Londoners were some of the most environmentally conscious car-buyers. A quarter intend to switch their car for a less polluting version whilst 24% wanted a vehicle that emitted less Co2 (24% Vs. national average 19%). Overall, drivers in the capital were significantly more likely to want to buy a brand new car (21% Vs. 15%).

Respondents in the East Midlands were more divided – a quarter were looking to change their car for a greener version, but only 12% wanted one that was less polluting in terms of its NO2. Drivers in the East of England were also looking to reduce their car pollution in the months ahead (24% Vs. national average 16%). Welsh drivers were most likely to be shopping around for a reliable car (19% Vs. national average 12%).

Age determines reason to change car
One in five 55 - 64 year olds want to switch their car to reduce their CO2 emissions whilst 16% are changing car to reduce NO2 pollution.  Older car drivers were also significantly less likely to care about buying a car that was cheaper to run (10% Vs. national average 18%) – only 5% said they would switch their car because they wanted the latest gadgets or features (5% Vs. national average 8%).

One in five young drivers said they would be switching car for a safer alternative (20%) and were twice as likely to do this compared to drivers nationally. A similar proportion said they wanted to buy a car that was more reliable (19%).

James Fairclough, Director of AA Financial Services commented: “Whilst there has been wide-ranging debate about falling sales of new cars, caused in part by a combination of Brexit and consumer confusion over the best vehicle to navigate the changing emissions landscape, the used car market was buoyant in the second half of last year and we are optimistic this will continue in 2020.

“For many, the green agenda will shape decisions on buying new cars and we expect 2020 will show continued growth of electric vehicle sales. In the second-hand market it plays out with more people being mindful about the merits of buying smaller, more efficient cars. In the last year, our research has indicated growing car buyer interest in hatchbacks over 4X4s. At the AA we are committed to helping every customer find and buy their next car with confidence and to get a good deal.”