A Motor Ombudsman-commissioned online YouGov study of nearly 500 existing and prospective learner drivers in Great Britain, has revealed that nearly half (42%) of respondents would prefer their first car to be fully electric (26%) or in part electric i.e. a hybrid (16%), after passing their driving test. The research also found that male provisional licence holders are more likely than their female counterparts to want to adopt zero emission motoring when starting their vehicle ownership journey (30% versus 23% respectively).
With electric cars sparking the most interest amongst the next generation of full driving licence holders, the study showed that just a fifth (21%) of those polled would want to get behind the wheel of a petrol-only variant once they had lost their L-plates, with just 6% of study participants saying they would opt for a diesel-engined vehicle once they passed. The remaining 30% of those quizzed stated that they didn’t know what kind of car would be their preference once they gained independence on the road.
The survey findings have been published to mark the launch of The Motor Ombudsman’s Second Edition of its online #JustPassed guide. The free-of-charge resource highlights the key considerations for new drivers when looking to purchase their first car, or when needing to get it serviced. The downloadable booklet touches on a range of subjects, such as choosing a Motor Ombudsman-accredited business, to going on a test drive, before culminating with some handy checklists to ensure that some of the key areas of research are covered off prior to signing on the dotted line. Furthermore, the latest edition sports a refreshed, easy-to-navigate, and smartphone-friendly design, the addition of animations and new graphics, as well as integrated links to view information on The Motor Ombudsman’s website and on sites of other motoring organisations.
When questioned if they were aware that a car should be serviced at least once a year in line with the manufacturer’s recommended schedule, three-quarters of respondents said that they were familiar with this important part of routine vehicle maintenance to help keep occupants and fellow road users safe. The results also showed that more females (79%) than males (71%), and those residing in the Midlands (83%) were the most up to speed with this form of best practice to keep a car in a roadworthy condition.
On the subject of the need to get an MOT once a vehicle reaches three years of age, 77% of survey participants stated that they were conversant with this legal requirement. Awareness of having to hold a valid certificate for a used car from its third birthday onwards was revealed as being fairly balanced between male and females (75% and 80% respectively), with the survey also showing that knowledge about having to get a car tested was highest amongst individuals living in the South (85%). In contrast, awareness was lowest within the 18 to 24 age group (at only 73% of respondents in this category).
Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of the Motor Ombudsman, said: “With the nation’s appetite for zero emission motoring growing, and the green agenda becoming ever more prominent in the buying habits of consumers, it is interesting to see that a large proportion of existing and prospective learner drivers are set to follow suit when they get the keys to their own car.”
Bill added: “Since publishing our #JustPassed guide a few years ago, the automotive industry, technology, as well as the types of vehicles available to today’s buyers, have all evolved. We therefore wanted to bring the online booklet up to date to reflect the current landscape, and to provide a more comprehensive resource for individuals when looking to make a decision as to what first car to buy, and where to get it serviced.”