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Motorists are becoming more eco-conscious

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

More than half of British motorists would consider a hybrid as their next car as the nation becomes increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the vehicle they drive.

Research conducted by car insurance expert Admiral showed that more than 2 in 5 drivers (46%) are concerned their car is doing damage to the environment, while almost 1 in ten (9%) are very concerned.

More than half of motorists (53%) questioned would consider a hybrid as their next car whilst more than a third (34%) would consider a fully-electric option.

In a similar survey by Admiral in 2013, less than a third (29%) of motorists with a car in their household were concerned their car was damaging the environment and just 44% said that they would consider a hybrid vehicle.

According to the recent research, drivers in the North East are most aware of green issues, with more than half (55%) concerned their car is damaging the environment, compared to just 40% in London.

However, Admiral data shows that drivers in London and the South East are actually leading take-up of electric and hybrid cars. In 2017, 57% of all Admiral car insurance quotes for hybrid vehicles came from these areas.

Leading the charge for electric and hybrid cars were senior professionals (16% of all hybrid quotes) and retirees (8.5%) – demonstrating that owning eco-friendly cars does go hand in hand with more disposable income.

Research showed that young people are the most likely to want a hybrid car, as 62% of 18-24s would consider one for their next vehicle, compared to 48% of those aged 55+.

Admiral’s Green Comparison Tool, which has been created as part of the campaign, allows motorists to compare their current car with a new model and see which gives best value for money and performs best on environmental measures.

While hybrid cars have become more popular in recent years, the YouGov study suggested that many motorists remain unconvinced about fully-electric models. 34% of people would consider an electric car as their next purchase, and nearly half (46%) had ruled it out.

Cost remains the biggest barrier for electric cars, with 63% concerned about the price and 24% worried that third-party costs such as charging, insurance and maintenance would be too high. Almost half (48%) are concerned that electric models will take too long to charge.

Which, if any, of the following do you think would be barriers to you buying an electric car as your next car?

They are too expensive to buy63%
They take too long to charge48%
There are not a lot of options of electric cars available34%
Third party costs are high (e.g. to charge/ maintain the car, insurance etc.)24%
They are not powerful enough20%
Not applicable – there are no barriers in particular that would stop me from buying an electric car6%
Don’t know5%
I would worry about being judged by my peers1%


Sabine Williams, head of motor at Admiral, said:

“This survey shows that green issues are really starting to affect motorists in the UK – and this promises to be a trend that only grows in coming years.

“This also echoes what we’re seeing day to day in the business – enquiries for electric and hybrid quotes have risen 1480% and 243% respectively in the last 7 years.

“This growing green appetite is why we’ve launched our green driving hub and comparison tool, so motorists can find the car that’s right for the environment – but also right for them.”

Paul Clarke, who founded the website Green Car Guide, said that recent media stories about diesel emissions have made drivers think about ‘green’ issues in more detail. He said:

“People are more aware of the impact that diesel emissions have on local air quality, so they are looking at alternatives, including hybrids. There is also the obvious benefit that greener cars such as hybrids typically also help motorists save money on car running costs.

“Thanks to UK and European emissions targets, I’m 100% certain that the future of cars will be green. However, we’re also now at the tipping point when motorists want to drive electric cars because, in addition to being cleaner, they’re cheaper to run and better to drive.

Many people who try an electric car simply won’t go back to petrol or diesel.”