Research released today by LV= General Insurance one of the UK’s largest car insurers, has found that two in five (42%) people are considering buying a second car in the near future with the majority of this group (64%) considering an electric car for this purchase. As the cheapest electric car on the UK market is just under £28,000, this luxury option is only available to better-off people.
As Ultra-Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and Low Emission Zones (LEZ) become commonplace in major UK cities, more people are considering making a move towards electric cars. London leads the way, having implemented its ULEZ earlier this year and LV= GI data suggests this has had a positive impact on peoples car choices, with an overwhelming number (81%) of London drivers who’re thinking about buying an additional car considering an electric car for this purchase – with a further three quarters (74%) considering purchasing an electric car to replace one of their current cars.
(Perhaps when everyone has switched to electric cars a new London congestion charge can then be levied on them? – Cynical Ed)
Motorists already driving an electric car were encouraged to do so because they wanted to make a positive impact on the environment (36%), they know the market is growing and will eventually replace petrol/diesel (25%), there are many charging points in their area (24%), and they like the models on offer (23%).
LV= GI analysis reveals that those who already own an electric car are already using them for the majority of their driving, including going shopping (40%), commuting to work (38%), visiting family and friends (38%) and going on holiday (20%).
Younger generation leading the charge
Appetite to move to electric is greater among younger people – with three in four (76%) millennials considering purchasing an electric car in the near future, compared to 63% of those aged 35-54 and 48% of those over 55. A further 68% of millennials are considering replacing one of their current cars with an electric car.
More work to be done
Despite electric cars increasing in popularity, the research found some drivers are still not keen to make the switch. Many worry there aren’t enough charging points near them (59%), the purchase costs are too high (48%), they can’t be used for long distance journeys (45%) and worry that the battery will run out (43%).
The Government has recently announced it will invest an extra £2.5 million in funding to allow the installation of more than 1,000 additional charge points on residential roads, hopefully encouraging more people to consider purchasing an electric vehicle as a second car. This recent investment is also in addition to the maximum £3,500 grant the Government currently provides towards the purchase price of a new pure electric vehicle.
Tom Clarke Head of Electric Vehicle Strategy at LV= General Insurance says: “We know the move to battery electric will feel a big change for some, but it is encouraging to see the majority of people who own more than one car are considering purchasing an electric car as their second vehicle. By doing this, drivers will continue to build their confidence in electric cars, hopefully encouraging them to go electric for the majority of their journeys. Despite this, there still remains a huge amount of confusion on what owning one actually means and more education is needed to help drivers embrace the change.”
The data from LV= GI indicates the environment is a big factor when considering buying a second car and for one in 10 (9%), wanting a more environmentally friendly car was a key factor in this decision. Additionally, a quarter (25%) of people in the UK purchased a second car because of a growing family, one in six (15%) wanted a “short journey car” and for a further 8% it was the desire to buy a “dream car” that lead to their second car purchase.
Despite second cars being such an important part of people’s lives, only 43% of multiple car owners have a multi-car insurance policy, and as a result could potentially be missing out on savings of around £200 a year.