Press release

Electric vehicles save motorists £1,300 a year as fuel costs push inflation to 40 year high

22nd June 2022, London – Motorists are now facing an extra £500 on their annual fuel costs[1] as record inflation puts further pressure on consumers.

The surge in fuel prices and the dawn of the £100 tank has triggered a huge spike in demand for electric vehicles (EV) on the Auto Trader marketplace, as estimated savings from EVs for motorists rise to circa £1,300 a year[2]

Auto Trader’s findings come as official figures show inflation in May rising to 9.1%, the highest for four decades, with the potential savings only set to increase as fuel prices continue to rocket.

The cost-of-living crisis is accelerating the switch from traditionally fuelled vehicles, with one in every five advert views on Auto Trader from would-be buyers now for an electric car. In fact, the volume of advert views of new electric vehicles has increased 7% since January, and a whopping 66% since this time last year.

Earlier this month the EV share of new car enquiries sent to Auto Trader’s retailer customers spiked to an all-time record of 35.8%.  According to Auto Trader’s data, used EVs are also currently selling significantly faster than any other fuel type, and almost twice as quickly as a year ago.

Used EVs took an average of just 26 days to leave retailers’ forecourts in May, 22 days faster than the same period last year. In contrast, the average used petrol and diesel car took 33 days and 35 days to sell respectively.

Auto Trader’s Editorial Director, Erin Baker, said: "With the average family petrol and diesel car costing over £100 to fill up there’s been a surge in interest for more cost-efficient alternatives. And whilst the up-front cost of a new or used EV will place them out of reach for many buyers, the potential saving of around £176 per every 1,000 miles, which is only set to increase over the coming months, will ensure electric demand will only head in one direction." 

Maximise your miles to the gallon

Auto Trader has provided its expert advice for keeping motoring costs down, including how to maximise the mileage out of your car and how to get the best deal for your next purchase, as well as revealing which cars offer the best fuel efficiency.

There are steps every driver can take to delay fill-ups. Erin offers her expert tips for squeezing the most MPG out of your car:

  • Try to not over-rev when you speed up. Instead, accelerate slowly and press on the pedal more firmly to get the same speed using less power and less fuel.
  • Drive in as high a gear as possible, without labouring the engine.
  • If it’s safe to do so, let your car slow naturally (using its weight and stored momentum) rather than tapping the brakes.
  • Keep your tyres inflated, as lower tyre pressure increases the drag on the car and so requires more fuel.
  • Remove any unnecessary weight ahead of your journey, including any junk in the boot and (if you’re not using it) the roof rack.
  • Removing the roof rack can also reduce wind resistance and decrease drag – improving fuel consumption.
  • Turning air conditioning off unless it’s needed. Generally, you’re better driving with the air con off and windows open at a low speed. If you’re at a higher speed, open windows could cause too much drag so air con might be the best bet. This’ll vary depending on the car and driving style.

Motorists face record used car prices, but have ‘massive selling power’

Auto Trader’s pricing data, which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, also reveals that used car buyers who are already feeling the pinch at the pump, are having to pay a lot more for their next car. In fact, Auto Trader’s data, which is used by the Office for National Statistics to power its inflation measures, shows that the average price of a used car is now £17,382, which is a whopping 28.4% higher on this time last year on a like-for-like basis.

However, as Baker highlights: “It’s not just the price of the car on retailers’ forecourts that are rocketing, so too is the car on your driveway. The reason used car prices have shot up is due to high demand and a low supply of cars – it gives consumers massive selling power when exchanging their current car for their next. We all like to check the price of our house, so why not do the same thing for the second most expensive asset you own? By using the valuation tool on our site, you can see exactly how much your car is worth and will ensure you get the best possible price from a retailer.

The most fuel-efficient cars to buy

With average fuel prices quickly heading towards £2 a litre, and with little to no indication of when prices may fall, its reason enough to look at the fuel efficiency in your current and next car. Erin highlights some of the most efficient fully hybrid and mild hybrid cars available that will help drivers keep those daily running costs down by capitalising on some seriously impressive MPGs.

Auto Trader’s list of the most fuel-efficient cars:

Make

Model

MPG

Brand new RRPs[3]

Renault

Clio E-Tech

64.2

£22,655

Vauxhall

Astra 1.5 Turbo D

62.8

£23,805

Honda

Jazz

62.7

£19,910

Toyota

Yaris-Cross

57.6

£23,280

Fiat

500

56.5

£14,005

Ford

Fiesta EcoBoost

55.4

£23,482.51

Hyundai

i10 1.2 MPi

55.4

£13,420

Mazda

3 e-Skyactiv X

53.3

£28,575

Dacia

Sandero

52.3

£11,245

Peugeot

3008 1.2 PureTech 130

48

£28,690

Auto Trader’s most in demand brand-new electric cars (13th – 19th June 2022)

Make

Model

Advert views

Share of total new car advert views

CUPRA

Born

20,628

8.03%

Kia

Niro

19,501

7.59%

MG

MG ZS

18,067

7.03%

Ford

Mustang MACH-E

14,097

5.49%

Toyota

bZ4X

13,979

5.44%

BMW

iX

12,421

4.83%

Fiat

500e

10,671

4.15%

Mercedes-Benz

EQS

8,300

3.23%

Nissan

Ariya

8,225

3.20%

Mercedes-Benz

EQB

7,909

3.08%

For more guidance on how to get the best cars to suit your budget, consumers can visits Auto Trader’s used car hub, which is packed full of the latest information tips and buying advice https://www.autotrader.co.uk/cars/used

[1] Petrol +£498 and diesel +£543 June 22 vs June 21 based on average 40 MPG at 7,400 annual miles and fuel prices as of 21 June 22

[2] Based on average annual mileage of 7,400 miles, and using a domestic/home charger

[3] As of 23rd February 2022

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience