Hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius are already a familiar sight on roads
British motorists are more likely to opt for hybrid than diesel when they buy their next car, according to the results of a survey compiled by the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA).
Of the 1000 respondents in the study, of which 490 were male and 510 were female, just 12% said they were considering buying a diesel car for their next vehicle purchase. Not only is this a tiny proportion for a fuel type that once accounted for nearly half of all new car sales, it's also a marked decrease on the 23% of respondants opting for diesel in an Autocar survey compiled just one year ago.
This means that, according to the NFDA's survey, diesel ranks behind hybrid power, which was the choice for 13% of respondents.
Although relatively small in scale, the study illustrates the extent of consumers' loss of confidence in diesel. Sales for black-pump vehicles have tumbled in recent months and now account for 33.5% of the market, down from a 44% share last year.
The results of the survey suggest that the chances of sales recovering any time soon are low. The UK Government’s recent diesel tax hike will no doubt present another barrier to diesel's recovery.
Petrol ranks top in the NFDA study, with 41% of respondents saying they’d choose a car of this fuel type for their next vehicle purchase. However, the second most popular answer is ‘don’t know’, backing suggestion that the UK’s recent new car sales downturn has been in part triggered by a general fall in consumer confidence.
The survey shows that most consumers are still some way off opting for a plug-in electrified car as their next purchase. Plug-in hybrid was chosen by just 2% of participants.
Pure electric was the top choice for only 1%. In fact, 59% of respondents ranked purchase cost as a main reason for not opting for a pure electric vehicle, while battery range and access to charging infrastructure were highlighted as a concern for 53% and 52% of participants respectively.