Survey Says: In UK, Price, Fuel Economy More Important Than Green Cred For Car Buyers

MAY 5 2017 BY MARK KANE 19

Online motor retailer’s latest survey of ~1,000 people is one of those “brings dreams to the ground” reality check pieces, at in terms of consumers interest in electric cars.

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – March 2017

According to the survey, there is three times as many people that prefer high-speed performance specs as a top priority for their rides, over green credentials.

Price, economy, style and comfort were mentioned as top considerations in the UK. Even crash safety loses to having the latest in-car gadgets, which is quickly becoming more and more important for consumers.

Austin Collins, managing director of said:

“The results of our research show that people are really only in touch with the immediately tangible aspects of the cars they buy and drive. That’s why the thought of spending money at the fuel pump every week or so seems more important than a trade-in or sale value in a few years’ time.

“We believe this is also why a car’s environmental credentials are at the bottom of the list for most people when they’re choosing their next vehicle.

“It’s not that people really don’t care about the environment – it’s just that the impact of your car on the environment is less immediately tangible compared with other factors.”

source: WardsAuto

Categories: General


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19 Comments on "Survey Says: In UK, Price, Fuel Economy More Important Than Green Cred For Car Buyers"

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I would say that is the case in a lot of countries.

I agree. People need to actually get ill from pollution in order to care…see China’s problems…to be fair Europe is not far behind China on this issue.

Serial anti tesla troll thomas

Have you ever been in Europe?

I’m not surprised fuel economy is near the top of the list, petrol is hovering around $7 a UK gallon at present.

There is a clean air plan being drafted as I type here in the UK with a scrappage scheme for older Euro Cat 3-4 diesels & Euro cat 1-3 petrols. figures being banded about range from £2K to £8.5K for scrapping your old vehicle. Time will tell.
(these older cars will eventually be banned from cities & some towns)
Add to that the government subsidy for EV’s up to £4.5K & it becomes an attractive proposition to go electric.

Doesn’t the UK price and sell petrol by the litre not the gallon?

Yes petrol is sold in litres here, I was writing it out in Imperial measures so to speak.
I paid £1.20 a litre last week, that’s £1.20 x 4.55 litres to the UK gallon = £5.46 / $7.07

Yes of course, for mainstream buyers this is the case everywhere. That is why EVs must be better than ICEs, not just greener. Luckily we are getting there.

Not quite everywhere. As gas prices go down, more people opt for giant SUV (ie, Suburban, Expedition) over fuel economy. And then they complain when the gas prices go up eventually, only to buy giant SUV/trucks again during temporary dip in gas price.

By the way, I did a brief survey of cars going the other way, and it seems SUV/trucks are almost 7 out of 10 vehicles. And of course, most are solo drivers. That’s literally money being burned, and they don’t seem to care.

Yup. In fact sedans are declining in percentage sold. Read this interesting article:

Uh, most places outside the US, which is a minority on the planet in terms of its low gasoline prices.
The large SUVs you mention essentially do not exist outside the US.

More than one million full sized pickup trucks are sold in the U.S. every year. They do not get good mileage nor do much work.

I’m all for driving emission free, but it’s not the primary reason I bought my LEAF. If it wasn’t a blast to drive I wouldn’t have bought it. I also hate getting ripped off for gas, which is suspiciously expensive in California. Finally, I love the low-maintenance aspect of an EV. I’m tired of crawling under my vehicles to change the oil and dozens of other things that wear out.

This very same survey done in 1905 (not on a website) had the consumer say all they wanted was a faster horse.

I live in Birmingham UK. Its a working class city where the bottom line is for most people the main consideration.

That’s why Birmingham has old used diesels everywhere. Are air is near as bad as Londons with one seventh of the population.

The idea that “green cred” is something people admire or covet is completely out of touch with reality. If anything the term has been used to portray a persons motives in making their decision as being somehow self promoting and superficial when people are actually trying to make morally responsible choices based on facts and logic.

People buy Tesla and enjoy the acceleration. There are logical and emotional reasons for the purchase of an automobile.

I think the very important thing that the uk has in its favour vs the USA is that the British might not consider the environment when purchasing a car, as is the same in the USA or pretty much any country, but they are far more accepting in general about paying more tax if their purchase is bad for the environment. My feeling is if you increased tax on fuel or banned certain types of vehicles from entering US cities the government would be kicked out and the changes repelled. This is perhaps not true of California but I am sure there are many places in the USA where if you suggested that an F-150 should pay thousands of dollars more in purchase and road tax than a leaf all hell would break loose.

No one likes paying tax and the car taxes that are linked to emissions are unpopular but the fact they exist shows it is less acceptable to pollute in the UK vs the USA.

I think it is ironic that people who would never pipe their cars running emissions into their residences, or businesses (for good reason) do not seem majorly concerned about pumping those emissions into the environment around their homes and businesses where they can be drawn in by the building ventilation systems.

In the UK, only (poorer) people that live in city centers, or on busy commuter routes notice the polution.

The people who can afford to buy a new car don’t live in those areas, so don’t notice (or care)
I live in a nice suburb north of London.

I didn’t buy my Outlander PHEV, my company bought it for my use. I chose it because of what it would cost me. The combination of Tax incentives for the company, tax incentives for me, the huge savings in fuel costs, and the free parking and not having to pay the annual “road tax” or the london congestion charge made it a “no brainer”.

When I worked out the cost savings, we changed our aging 2nd car to a new BEV.

I’m paying for it with the money I’m saving on not buying fuel. In another year it will be paid for. With all the money I’m saving on running costs and tax, I hope to pay my mortgage off early.

becoming “green” is a nice side effect, but had (almost) nothing to do with the choice of vehicles.