Combined enquiries for electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles have overtaken those of diesel vehicles for the first time on the Leasing.com platform.

In January 2020, the combined total enquiries for electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles were three times lower than that of diesel engines, highlighting the rapid pace of change. Petrol remains the most prevalent fuel type for now.

The data also revealed that UK drivers expect to cover 20% fewer miles in the next 12 months, even with a return to ‘business as usual’. This suggests that a shift in working patterns may have brought about a permanent change in the way the UK public travels.

The average annual mileage for leasing enquiries now stands at 8,000 miles, dropping from 10,000 miles before the pandemic.

Paul Harrison, head of strategic partnerships at Leasing.com, noted that we may be witnessing a transformational change in the industry: “The average annual mileage driven by UK motorists has been falling for a number of years, but this trend has been accelerated as a result of us all staying local in the past twelve months. Reduced mileage, changing working patterns, environmental concerns and increased choice of vehicles have all contributed to the surge in interest in EVs at the expense of diesel models.

“Leasing gives consumers the flexibility to try new EV technologies, as motorists can pick their preferred initial payment and lease term avoiding long-term ownership commitments.”

In Leasing.com’s monthly league tables, Cupra witnessed a 207% increase in personal enquiries in May, the surge being driven by the popularity of its Formentor SUV which includes a hybrid model. Enquiries for the Formentor specifically were 215% up on last month.

Volkswagen remains the most popular manufacturer by enquiry volumes, while BMW and Audi have swapped places. Ford, meanwhile, has lost some traction, falling three places to 10th, and Mercedes and Land Rover have also both dropped down the list.

Top 10 car manufacturers:

  1. Volkswagen
  2. BMW
  3. Audi
  4. Cupra
  5. Land Rover
  6. Vauxhall
  7. Mercedes-Benz
  8. Volvo
  9. Skoda
  10. Ford

Top 10 personal enquiries:

  1. Cupra Formentor
  2. Vauxhall Corsa
  3. Volkswagen Tiguan
  4. Audi A3
  5. Volkswagen Golf
  6. Volvo XC40
  7. Nissan Qashqai
  8. Skoda Kamiq
  9. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  10. Volkswagen T-Roc