Environmental factors have become the second most important consideration to prospective car buyers, behind only price, according to new figures from comparethemarket.com in its latest Premium Drivers report.
The new figures show that 25% of people consider environmental impacts, such as fuel, carbon efficiency and alternative fuel, as the most important factor when buying a car. With 24% of people potentially looking to buy a car in 2019, this could result in a significant increase in the volume of electric and hybrid cars purchased in the new year.
By contrast, when asked about buying their first car, only 7% of people said they considered environmental factors a top priority.
More generally, the overwhelming majority of drivers are more conscious of their environmental impact than they were five years ago. This has translated into action, with many taking clear steps to reduce the impact of their driving on the environment in 2019. 53% of people said that they would avoid taking unnecessary car journeys and 48% said that they will avoid unnecessary acceleration or heavy braking to minimise emissions.
The drive to becoming greener is also encouraging many drivers to ditch their cars entirely, with 36% of people saying that they will take public transport, walk or cycle instead of driving to be more eco conscious.
The Premium Drivers report also showed that the average car insurance premium in Q4 2018 rose marginally over the last quarter and now stands at £744 – an increase of £12 compared to the previous quarter’s £732.
Premiums rose by over £33 over the past three months, from £727 in September to £744 in October, before reaching £761 in November. Premiums have historically risen in the last three months of the year before falling again in January and February, as insurers compete to win new customers in the New Year.
The small fluctuations between monthly premiums over the past 12 months indicate no meaningful change in either the upwards or downwards direction. The average car insurance premium in November 2017 was £767, only slightly higher than £761 in November 2018.