A new survey by Capital One Auto Finance found that more than half of respondents (53%) say that their next car will be more fuel efficient than their current vehicle and 55% would be very likely or somewhat likely to give up a larger vehicle for a more fuel-efficient model when they buy their next car.
While the overwhelming majority of those surveyed (96%) do not currently own an alternative motor vehicle and two-thirds (76%) have never driven or test-driven one of these types of cars, nearly 80% (78%) believe they are here to stay and are not just a passing fad.
Drivers’ preferences and features that were once ‘must haves’ seem to be shifting somewhat, as consumers try to balance their needs with a desire to do their part to help the environment and save money on fuel. While consumers are showing significant interest in gas-alternative models, our survey suggests that pricing is holding many buyers back from purchasing one.
—Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Capital One Auto Finance
Other findings of the survey include:
- 34% said it is somewhat or very likely that their next car purchase will be an alternative motor vehicle and 54% think they will own an alternative motor vehicle in their lifetime.
- 42% predict that in ten years, 25-50% of cars on the road will be gas-alternative models; 23% believe that more than 50% of cars on the road will be alternative cars by the year 2020.
- In the near term, consumers say that pricing is the primary factor holding them back from purchasing an alternative motor vehicle.
- 41% did not know about government alternative fuel vehicle rebate programs.
- Of those who said they were likely to purchase an alternative motor vehicle, nearly three-quarters (71%) have not calculated the savings in gas over a traditional vehicle.