Three in ten drivers wouldn’t know what kind of fuel-powered car to buy

A new survey of 2,000 UK drivers reveals that almost a third (30 per cent) say that if they were buying a new car or a new second-hand car they would not know whether to buy a petrol, electric or diesel one. Younger drivers, 18 – 34s, are even more undecided with 41 per cent saying they are unsure what type of fuel-powered car to go for.

The Opinium survey, commissioned by, a provider of Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance, found this confusion is also meaning that drivers are holding off from changing their cars. Almost a third (31 per cent) say they are keeping their current car for longer than usual as they do not to know whether to buy a petrol, electric or diesel car (men 33 per cent and women 29 per cent).

While the government is keen for drivers to switch to non-fossil fuel cars, and the ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars is now 2035 (five years earlier than it was), this survey reveals that consumers seem unsure of what they should or shouldn’t be buying.

Nearly three-fifths of drivers (57 per cent) say the issues around running an electric car are too daunting to make them buy one (men 54 per cent v women 59 per cent).  It also appears that drivers have not totally fallen out of love with diesel as almost three in ten (29 per cent) say they would still buy a diesel car (men 34 per cent and women 25 per cent). Over 55s (26 per cent) are the least likely to buy a diesel car compared to 18 – 34s (34 per cent) and 35 – 54s (32 per cent).

Ben Wooltorton, chief operating officer,, said: “From 2035 or sooner, drivers will only be able to buy electric or hydrogen cars, however, looking at the results of this survey this looks like a big leap of faith for many consumers who are clearly unsure about what type of car they should be buying. You can understand why people are feeling insecure as we were told not long ago that we should all buy diesel, and now diesel is being banned. It seems that many drivers need greater confidence that the issues around running an electric car are resolved before they will commit.”

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