Almost one in six motorists (14%) say that the government’s move to push back the end of petrol and diesel car sales to 2035 means it is less likely their next vehicle will be electric, new research shows.

However, 82% of motorists in Startline’s November Used Car Tracker also say that the decision will have no effect on their choice, although 6% admit to feeling “less sure” about electric cars in general.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “The government argument behind delaying the deadline was that it would give consumers more time to electrify and potentially reduce the cost of doing so. For the vast majority of people though, it just doesn’t seem to have made any difference to their preferences.

“However, our research does show around one in six plan to delay purchasing an electric car. There are different ways to interpret this figure. One is that it is simply not that many people but, on the other hand, if the potential market for electric cars has just fallen by that amount, it’s quite a big reduction.”

Each month, Startline’s Used Car Tracker asks consumers how their next used car is likely to be powered. For November, the results are 44% petrol, 20% diesel, 26% hybrid and 10% electric. These figures have barely moved for the last six months.

Paul added: “Our longer-term tracking of this question again underlines that the government move has had very little impact. It is interesting though, that positions appear to be becoming more entrenched among those who favour petrol and diesel, and those who plan to buy electric or hybrid.

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“For those planning to opt for petrol and diesel, trust in combustion engine technology has increased from 50% to 64%, whilst motorists lining up to buy electric or hybrids agree that ‘electric power is the future’, a sentiment that’s risen from 42% to 58%.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 303 consumers and 59 dealers were questioned.