A third (32%) of British motorists are using their cars less than they were two years ago, new research has found. Running costs such as fuel, tax and servicing and maintenance combined with changing work and homelife circumstances lead people to find alternative modes of getting around and leave the car at home.
Recent research from flexible leasing provider SOGO looked at changing attitudes towards how motorists view car ownership. It also analysed opinions on electric car ownership, which last year saw a year on year sales increase of 180%, despite lockdown and a 28 year low for petrol and diesel car sales.
Reflecting significant shifts in-vehicle use and ownership, SOGO provides leases from as little as four weeks up to four years, which means drivers can hit the road in a brand new electric vehicle every month if they wish.
The research also reveals that a third of drivers (30%) admitted they did not want to be tied into a leasing deal for several years, with a quarter (26%) believing leasing to be a financially sensible way of getting the car they want.
Almost a fifth (18%) of Brits said they don’t use their cars enough to warrant committing to a lengthy lease of several years, and 14% said that shorter leases would be ideal to suit their lifestyle requirements. 16% said they would prefer to lease rather than buy outright so that they can change their car more often.
Karl Howkins, managing director of SOGO, said: “Flexible leasing options can help motorists fall in love with their cars again. Whether it’s for four weeks to 6 months or a year, a flexible car lease is a great way to try out new vehicles without the hassle of committing to a restrictive, lengthy lease. It’s the perfect opportunity to test a new electric car, try out all the gadgets and technology and drive a car that suits individual lifestyle and motoring needs.
“As our research shows, not everybody needs their car as much as they used to, especially with more people working from home more regularly. It also highlighted that 34% of people are no longer willing to use public transport since the Covid-19 pandemic started, making a flexible lease a great alternative. With the ban on petrol and diesel cars coming in 2030, a shorter lease deal on a new, environmentally friendly and cheap to run car offers huge appeal. We have developed a comprehensive range of services that makes it easier than ever to move to an electric vehicle, and for occasions when an EV isn’t viable, we have everything from LCVs to SUVs available on ultra-flexible terms.
In a first for the UK vehicle leasing and rental industry, SOGO has partnered with energy giant BP as a major participant in its Target Neutral programme, offering a carbon-neutral fleet across petrol, diesel and EVs. The programme aims to help fleet customers measure, reduce and offset their carbon emissions.
SOGO’s research also highlighted:
- 29% said lower running costs and no car tax would lead them to consider an electric car
- 16% of motorists said they don’t use a car regularly enough to warrant leasing one
- 17% of men and 14% of women would like to lease so they can change their cars regularly
- 11% would consider a short-term lease on a car to use for a trip or holiday
- One in 10 would love the chance to drive a different make of car regularly
- 3% would consider a short-term lease on a car just to temporarily impress someone
- 14% would lease an electric car rather than committing to buying one
- 12% said leasing a car for shorter periods would suit their personal needs
- Just 6% are worried that electric car technology is too advanced for them