Vehicles like the Hyundai Kona are popular choices for Irish motorists, with sales of hybrid and electric cars set to grow
The popularity of electric and hybrid cars is only set to grow in Ireland, with half of all Kilkenny motorists expected to go down this road with their next vehicle.
While diesel is still the top choice, research carried out by DoneDeal shows that one in two buyers are now open to buying hybrid or electric as their next car, up from one in four last year.
Consumer intent to purchase diesel declined from 52% in 2019 to 29% today, while intent to purchase a petrol engine continues to hold its 2019 position at 22%.
Today, nearly one in two car buyers say they would opt for a hybrid or electric vehicle, versus one in four in 2019.
More than 70% of consumers who intend to buy a car valued at over €10,000, intend to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle. An indicator that those who can afford fuel alternatives to petrol and diesel are making the switch to more sustainable fuel types.
“What kind of car is good for long-distance travel” remains a top query for Irish people who will be encouraged by the significant range improvements on electric and hybrid vehicles in the last year, with more to come in 2021.
Manual transmissions (59.8% of cars sold) continue to be more popular despite a decline in market share, however automatic transmissions (40.09%) continue to gain in popularity. New automatic gearboxes are very efficient and cheaper to make but another factor is worth noting, pure hybrids (HEV) and all EVs have automatic gearboxes.
Used vehicles are expected to hold their value in 2021. The average price of a nearly new car (registration 2016 to 2019) last year was €21,273. This year, the average price of a new car is €33,000.
The price gap between nearly new cars and brand new cars is closing as new car sales declined by 25% last year, which means less nearly new cars are in circulation
Brexit, combined with recent additional fuel efficiency “NOx” charges on imports will likely see used imports fall dramatically. This loss of supply will keep used values strong in 2021 and likely 2022, so it’s not a bad time to buy a used car in terms of value retention, irrespective of the age of the car. Similar trends are visible in the UK where leading car sites have seen increases of 8.5% in the price of used cars across the board. With a crunch in new supply, it is quite likely that used vehicles will better hold their value.
According to Revenue, importation of a vehicle from Britain is now treated as an importation from a third country, that is, a non-EU country. That means completing a customs declaration, accounting for customs duty if applicable, and Vat prior to presenting the vehicle for registration. All of which can add up in time and money for the car buyer.
In terms of buying, consumers also see the value in making the leap to brand new vehicles. With high demand for nearly new cars, which is driving up prices, consumers see the value in making the leap to brand new vehicles. Finance options are expected to make it easier for consumers to trade up to newer car types like hybrid and electric vehicles.
Consumers surveyed also note how the industry has responded to the pandemic. The industry has empowered people to make choices with peace of mind, not just by enabling click and collect, but through increasing the information and details about vehicles for sale online, alongside assurances like warranties and a variety of finance options.
One element that has suffered is the ‘contemplative commute’. While Working From Home means the majority of people don’t have to endure the slow crawl and negotiation of commuter traffic, business professionals miss the allotted time for thinking and contemplating the best approach for the day ahead.
Business professionals interviewed spoke of how they had been surprised to learn the role that the commute played in their lives, only noticing it when they no longer needed to commute to the office. In response, they have had to make a conscious effort to build in time in the morning or afternoon to allow for this time, something they said was crucial to their focus for the day ahead.