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New research shows car subscription models could tempt car buyers to switch to electric

  • New research from What Car? shows appetite for car subscription in the UK is low at the moment
  • Survey found that more than 45 per cent would be more interested in trying an EV on a subscription model though
  • Nearly 60 per cent said they preferred owning their cars

Time 9:16 am, March 23, 2022

New research has shown that electric vehicles are the area where subscription cars could have the most opportunity, with 45 per cent saying they would be more interested in owning one in this way.

However, the survey by What Car? of 822 new car buyers found subscriptions in general were not yet a mainstream option.

Just 2.92 per cent said they were looking to obtain their new car this way, suggesting they are unlikely to offset traditional finance and leasing in the near future.


Popular reasons given for not wanting a subscription included preferring owning their car (59.95 per cent), wanting to organise their own insurance (15.56 per cent) and were worried about the value for money (12.81 per cent).

Those who liked the idea said ease of use, the ability to swap models and the lack of stress were key reasons to favour the subscription model.

In total, 45.26 per cent of those surveyed said they would be more interested in obtaining an electric vehicle this way because it would give them an opportunity to test the technology first.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car? said: ‘Subscription models are a niche in the industry, but as our research shows, they could act as an important tool in furthering electric vehicle uptake for buyers who may be hesitant over the technology.


‘This is in particular if the manufacturer allows buyers to swap between internal combustion and electric models during the subscription.’

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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