Some 49 per cent of car buyers say they will consider a hybrid when buying next car, new research has found.
BNP Paribas Personal Finance found that 33 per cent of buyers are considering switching to an electric car, too.
The firm found a growing divide in the perception and purchasing decisions between city and country populations.
In large cities, 55 per cent of those surveyed said they planned to invest in a hybrid vehicle, compared with 42 per cent in smaller towns and rural areas.
The report suggests this could be due in part to the introduction of travel constraints such as the low emission zones being introduced in cities such as Birmingham and Leeds.
Diesel vehicles are set to continue to fall in popularity, say BNP Paribas. According to the study, just under a third of motorists intend to invest in this type of car.
According to the report, 69 per cent of the UK population believes cars are the main cause of pollution globally, ahead of other pollutants such as aviation and manufacturing, with those in the 18-34 category most likely to agree with the statement.
Andrew Brameld, managing director of motor finance at BNP Paribas Personal Finance in the UK, said: ‘It is evident from this research that hybrid and electric vehicles are going to become increasingly important when it comes to the health of the new car market.
‘Even though there is still a divide in opinions between older and younger generations and rural and urban drivers, this research has revealed that there is a growing concern amongst all groups about the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions.
‘It will be interesting to see how lower fuel prices as a result of the coronavirus crisis will affect purchasing habits. It also remains to be seen whether people will revert back to buying petrol and diesel alternatives in the short term, while those cost savings are place.
‘But this report shows that as a developing trend the public is very much on board with government efforts to encourage the sales of environmentally friendly vehicles and we only expect to see this develop further in coming years.’
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