Drivers looking to lease a new car are switching back to petrol as the popularity of BEVs falters, according to the latest data from Leasing.com, a car leasing comparison website.
Demand data from the Q3 (July-September) 2023 shows that petrol vehicles accounted for a significant 73% of all personal contract hire (PCH) enquiries submitted via Leasing.com. This represented an 8% increase in demand compared to Q3 2022. The Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen T-Roc and Volkswagen Golf were the three most popular vehicles on PCH in Q3.
In contrast, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) experienced a fall in consumer demand with PCH lease enquiries falling by 2% compared to Q3 last year. BEVs accounted for 11% of all PCH enquiries between July and September in 2023.
Despite the 2035 deadline for the ban of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK, many BEVs remain unaffordable for a large proportion of UK motorists in the current high-inflationary environment. This is despite the ever-increasing choice of BEVs now offered by manufacturers.
Enquiries for diesel leasing agreements fell by a significant 40% year-on-year to make up just 3% of total enquiries in Q3 of 2023.
Paul Harrison, Chief Partnerships Officer at Leasing.com, says incentives are now needed to support the adoption of electric vehicles:
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“Our Q3 data shows that many private motorists turned their backs on BEVs in favour of more affordable petrol vehicles and is in stark contrast to the significant growth in BEV demand that we saw throughout 2022.
Despite the availability and choice of BEVs growing, it is the ongoing cost of living crisis and increased rentals that have stunted the uptake of BEVs in the new car market this year.
This trend will concern all motor manufacturers ahead of the introduction of the zero emission vehicle mandate next year. With a slow economic recovery forecasted, we are calling on the Government to work with the car industry to design a package of measures to help incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles ahead of the Autumn Statement.”