Nearly two-thirds of car owners plan on buying an electric or hybrid vehicle in the “near future” as they feel the pinch of increased running costs this year.
A new study says that drivers blame increases in fuel prices for the extra cost of running a car, while insurance is also a major concern.
Most drivers (61pc) say their running costs have risen in the past six months with more than a quarter (29pc) now spending €250-plus a month on their car.
Nearly half (45pc) say cheaper running costs would be their main reason for switching to electric or hybrid from petrol or diesel, while environmental concerns come second for 40pc of motorists.
The findings emerge in the Carzone bi-annual study, which examined trends by analysing data from 77 million-plus searches between January to June this year.
The findings also include the outcomes of an in-depth survey of 1,600 motorists.
Incidentally, Tesla’s Model S and Nissan’s Leaf are the most searched-for electric and hybrid cars on the site over the past six months.
The report also points out that: “Awareness levels on the difference between electric and hybrid cars is high (84pc) and six-in-10 know where their nearest charging station is.”
The analysis also shows:
• Insurance costs remain the top concern despite 32pc enjoying a decrease or no change in premium.
• 38pc of motorists plan to buy a car in the next year with nearly half those going for a vehicle aged two or under.
• Cost and safety are prime concerns for parents when buying a family car.
• 55pc would agree with a mandatory re-test for drivers over 70.
• BMW is the most popular brand searched for, followed by Audi and Mercedes.
• The Volkswagen Golf is the most popular model. It is followed by the Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6. The most popular hybrid is the Lexus IS300h.