Press release

Rise of the long-term test drive: Brits turn to leasing to trial EVs

  • 70% of drivers prefer to lease an EV - getting to grips with the technology - before buying it outright

  • 51% of drivers nervous about the driving range of EVs – but say a 2-3 year lease could help overcome their fears
  • 1 in 3 drivers have previously been nervous to buy a new EV car outright
  • Auto Trader’s latest report, Long Term Test Drive, reveals the nation’s new car must-haves, purchasing concerns, and the benefits of a prolonged test drive period through leasing

A TRY-BEFORE-YOU BUY SCHEME for electric vehicles could be what’s needed to dispel the lingering concerns surrounding the technology, a new study finds.

A survey of 2,025 UK drivers conducted by Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, for its latest report Long Term Test Drive, reveals that 70% of UK motorists would be interested in leasing an electric vehicle for a 2 to 3 year prolonged test-drive, getting to grips with the features and technology before committing to buying one outright.

Although 73% of respondents say they would consider purchasing an electric vehicle within the next 4 years, 40% of these admit they still have reservations about the capabilities of EVs.

Despite the UK now being home to more than 19,000 charging points[1] and the average EV being able to travel approximately 100 miles on a single charge, more than half of motorists (51%) say range anxiety is the biggest turn-off, followed by a concern for lack of available charging points across the UK (49%) and in local areas (48%).

The cost of the car itself was found to be another worry for 44% of motorists, as well as how long it would take to recharge (42%).

However, according to recent market research, also conducted by Auto Trader, as many as nine out of 10 consumers are worried about the impact of petrol and diesel cars on the environment and, therefore, support schemes to help motorists to go green.

A try-before-you-buy approach, using leasing as a form of prolonged test drive, may be the way forward, as the latest research also reveals that a 2 to 3 year lease would give the average driver enough time to thoroughly trial an EV model and overcome their concerns.

This approach is also popular amongst those who are considering traditionally-fuelled cars, too, for whom more than 1 in 3 (38%) admit they have previously been nervous to buy a new car outright.

The research reveals that 1 in 2 (66%) motorists think leasing any car before purchasing the vehicle outright is a sensible idea as it would help them to be sure the car is right for them.

The research goes on to reveal the most important factors that UK drivers look for when purchasing a new car, including good fuel economy (65%), low maintenance costs (56%), and how enjoyable it is to drive (55%).

Commenting on the findings, Auto Trader’s Rory Reid says: “Buying a new car can be a big commitment, so it makes sense that some are considering leasing as a viable alternative, especially when using it as a way to ‘test drive’ a car for longer periods. Leasing for a couple of years gives drivers the time they need to fully get to know the vehicle and understand their own feelings about it.

“In the case of EVs, this would provide plenty of time to help drivers dispel any worries, become accustomed to the technology and see how accessible and easy charging can be. It’s also a fraction of the price of purchasing outright, so if after 2 years you’re not sold, you can simply return the vehicle.”

To view Auto Trader’s Long Term Test Drive full report, please visit https://www.autotrader.co.uk/content/guides/leasing-an-electric-car.

For help finding the right lease for you, visit: www.autotrader.co.uk/cars/leasing.

Top 10 New Car Must-Haves:

  1. Good fuel economy – 65%
  2. Low maintenance costs – 56%
  3. Enjoyable to drive – 55%
  4. Comfortable seats – 50%
  5. The size (ensuring it’s not too small) – 37%
  6. The size (ensuring it’s not too big) – 36%
  7. Good storage space – 35%
  8. Eco-friendliness – 33%
  9. Good legroom – 32%
  10. Good rear-view visibility – 30%

 

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