Insights into the minds of motorists have been revealed by contrasting what visitors to an online used car supermarket look for – and what they end up buying.
Analysis of up to one million searches per month on BuyaCar.co.uk reveals that hybrid models are now the only type of car showing consistently increasing interest across every one of Britain’s 10 biggest urban areas.
But, in a sign of cost-consciousness and limited availability, the vast majority of used car buyers are still settling for petrol – and diesel sales have even shown an increase on 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, the size of the challenge for electric vehicle (EV) adoption is revealed by a still ‘patchy’ level of interest across different geographical areas – although Glasgow stands out as the place where interest in EVs has risen more than that for hybrids.
BuyaCar analysts looked at the contrast between the lockdown-beleagured market of May 2020 and the soaring recovery market of May this year, when demand began to outstrip supply.
They compared two key figures; the absolute increase or decrease in searches for particular fuel types and the change in overall share for fuel type searches.
Britain’s 10 biggest centres of population were chosen for the analysis*, with smaller town and rural areas still to be studied.
Headline findings include:
- Hybrids have seen the biggest increase in search-for-fuel-type share everywhere except Glasgow, where EVs have risen most
- Petrol is still the go-to fuel choice everywhere, maintaining a share ranging from 34.5% for searches by Sheffield motorists to 46.1% of Londoners
- Searches for diesel cars have increased more than for petrol models in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and Bristol
- Hybrid is the only fuel type to have seen an increase in searches across the board – ranging from an 18% rise in London to a jump of 111.8% in Manchester
- Searches for used EVs vary more widely than for any other fuel type, ranging between a reduction of 25.6% in Liverpool to doubling or rising by even more than that in Nottingham, Glasgow and Manchester