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Nearly one in five car buyers could go electric as cost of living and fuel prices both increase – research

  • 19 per cent of those previously not in market for EV are now considering one, finds What Car?
  • 43 per cent of 1,113 in-market buyers say rises in fuel prices and cost of living are affecting their decision
  • More than a fifth are delaying their purchase as a result
  • 36 per cent are considering different makes and models

Time 7:00 am, April 20, 2022

Almost a fifth of in-market car buyers who weren’t previously in the market for an EV are now considering one to save on costs.

That’s according to What Car? research of 1,113 buyers published today (Apr 20), which found that increases in fuel prices and the general cost of living had affected the purchase decision of 43.31 per cent of them.

They are now considering different makes and models, delaying buying, or looking at EVs to reduce their running costs.


Of those polled, 19.13 per cent said they weren’t previously in the market for an electric car but were now considering one as their next vehicle to save money.

The research also found that more than a fifth (21.65 per cent) had decided to delay their purchase, with 9.97 per cent stalling by more than three months.

More than a third of buyers (35.84 per cent) told What Car? they were now contemplating buying different makes and models from before.

As part of the research, What Car? also asked buyers who weren’t interested in getting an EV as their next car how much fuel prices would have to rise by for them to consider switching.


It found that 20.71 per cent said fuel would have to cost between £2 and £3 per litre for that to happen, while 10.65 per cent said prices of £3 to £4 per litre would make them consider going electric.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘With rising fuel prices and growing inflation, it’s easy to see why many buyers are now starting to consider an electric car.

‘With more models to choose from and lower running costs, the case for electric vehicles is only growing.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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