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Hybrid, electric and getting rid of vehicles: 17.7 million Brits plan to go green

  • However, almost two fifths (39%) of British drivers still plan to select a petrol vehicle next time they change their motor.
  • Men (48%) are more likely to choose green options than women (32%).
  • 1 in 10 (9%) said they would get rid of their vehicle or not replace their current one because it’s too pricey.

Thursday 12 September 2019, LONDON

17.7 million Brits are planning to become more eco-friendly the next time they change their vehicle by choosing a hybrid motor, an electric motor, or by ditching their car altogether.

According to new research from personal price comparison site Finder, this means that 40% of British drivers intend to “go green” with their driving habits over the coming years.

Out of all the eco options, hybrid vehicles are leading the way, with around a fifth (21%) of all British drivers claiming this will be their next vehicle purchase. Electric motors are also set to see a continued surge in popularity – if the 14% who plan to purchase one do so, this would see their numbers rise to around 6.2 million (the number of ultra-low emission vehicles registered in the UK went from roughly 30,000 in Q4 2014 to 200,000 in Q4 2018)*.

Some Brits are also planning to ditch their vehicle altogether because of environmental concerns. Around 2.3 million say they will get actually get rid of their motor in a bid to go green, while others say they simply won’t replace their current vehicle.

Despite this movement, petrol vehicles are still the most likely to be purchased by Brits in the future. Almost two fifths (39%) of those who plan to get another vehicle say they will go with a petrol engine.

Existing data from the Department for Transport** found that the number of new diesel vehicles registered fell by 30% from 2017 to 2018, and Finder’s survey found that diesel engines are the least popular option when choosing your next vehicle. However, more than 1 in 10 drivers (11%) still plan on choosing this option, meaning that there will be almost 5 million diesel vehicles on the road.

Some Brits are also planning to get rid of their vehicles for financial reasons, with a substantial 4.2 million drivers (9%) deciding that owning a motor is not worth the cost. They will join the 14% of Brits in the survey who said they don’t currently drive and don’t intend to ever purchase a vehicle.

Men appear to be more environmentally focused when it comes to driving, being significantly more likely to go electric when they choose their next vehicle (18% of men vs 10% of women). Similarly, almost a quarter of men (24%) say they would opt for a hybrid compared to less than a fifth of women (18%).

Across all regions, petrol motors are still the most popular choice. Half (51%) of all Scottish drivers say they will choose a petrol vehicle when they next change vehicles. However, residents in the North West are the most green, with around three in five drivers here (59%) aiming to select a hybrid or electric vehicle or ditch their vehicle altogether for environmental reasons.

Almost a quarter of Londoners (23%) say they will select an electric vehicle, which is the highest percentage of any other region. This is likely to have been helped by the free congestion charge that has recently been put in place for electric vehicles in the city centre of the capital.

To see the full research on what Brits are choosing for their next vehicles, including age, region and gender breakdowns, check out

Speaking about the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO at Finder UK, said:

“We all know the environmental benefits that hybrid and electric vehicles can bring, but various studies have suggested that the cost it takes to run them is decreasing as well. You would expect these costs to decrease further, and the congestion charge exemption in London is something that we may start to see more of in other cities.

“So, if you’re interested in reducing your environmental footprint, then it is certainly worth doing some research into these types of vehicles, or perhaps you might consider scrapping your motor altogether if you are well served by public transport.”

Sources used:

*Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Department for Transport (UK)*

**Vehicle Licensing Statistics: Annual 2018, Department for Transport**


  • Finder commissioned Onepoll on 2 September 2019 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
  • A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.
  • Jon Ostler, CEO at Finder UK is available for further comment, opinions or interview regarding the research.


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