The ongoing fuel crisis could prevent some consumers from making a vehicle purchase, according to a survey from Close Brothers Motor Finance.

The research found that a fifth (20%) of respondents are put off buying a car as a result of the fuel crisis. A third of people (35%) blame motorists’ stockpiling for the shortages.

A further 27% said the crisis has made them think about purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) sooner than planned.

However, barriers to EV adoption still remain. Some 21% of those surveyed said the cost has stopped them from turning to electric, while 11% said they are concerned about the infrastructure currently in place. A further 12% said the government needs to focus on supporting the sales of EVs.

It’s not just car buying that is impacted, many have more immediate concerns. More than one in ten (11%) admit they are scared to drive anywhere in case they run out of fuel, whilst 9% say the shortage impacts their ability to get to work. One in six (17%) say they are worried that there will be many more fuel shortages in the future.

“The fuel shortage is causing panic among consumers, but it could be the catalyst for motorists to go green,” said Seán Kemple, managing director of Close Brothers Motor Finance.

“The ongoing fuel crisis could be the tipping point for consumers who are steering towards non-carbon vehicle options. The UK car industry is at a pivotal point in its journey to electrification, with sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continuing to surge.

“But for this trend to continue, we need to see the infrastructure in place to support AFV ownership. We are still languishing in the tens of thousands of much needed electric car charging points – we need to get to 2m to meet the ambitious 2030 goals.

Kemple added that consumer appetite is there, with greener models looking more attractive as time goes on. “Increasingly, consumers are environmentally conscious, so there needs to be clearer messaging and much more support from the Government to help turn the dial. The car market has the opportunity to build back stronger, and greener, but it’s down to government support and industry collaboration to make that happen.”