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  1. Analysis
June 23, 2022

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

UK motorists face an extra £500 on their annual fuel costs as record inflation is putting further pressure on drivers.

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.

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.

The volume of advert views of new electric vehicles has increased 7% since January and 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 a 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.” 

Motorists face record used car prices

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. 

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, it’s 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.

High inflation puts brakes on electric vehicle adoption in UK

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