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Auto Trader Market Report Insights

At a time when the headlines are full of reports about self-driving cars, Auto Trader's latest Market Report looks at the attitudes of today's car-buyers to these technological developments

Words by: First published: 6th March 2017
  • Auto Trader research shows 49% of motorists aren’t interested in driverless cars
  • 44% of 17-44 year olds predict that driverless tech will not be available in their lifetime
  • 58% rise in searches for electric vehicles on Auto Trader in 2016
Almost half of today’s motorists are disinterested in driverless cars. That’s the major finding of Auto Trader’s latest Market Report, which was published today.

Our survey questioned more than 5500 motorists in the UK and it revealed that we are a nation of car owners, and we intend to stay that way. Over 85% of full license holders own at least one car and 81% of all car owners today are committed to owning cars throughout their lifetime.

45% of motorists who claim no interest in fully-autonomous cars say they enjoy driving too much to find the prospect of a driverless car appealing, with 49% of the same group claiming they know too little about the technology to even gauge their level of interest.

Only 21% of all motorists claim to know what a fully-autonomous vehicle is, and awareness levels drop significantly with older motorists.

But it’s not just awareness that seems to be stunting interest levels with today’s motorists. 44% of 17-44 year olds predict that fully-autonomous cars will not be available in their lifetime, highlighting a large proportion of motorists who share a lack of confidence in either the technology or the UK’s ability to deliver it anytime soon.

However, that’s in direct contrast to what some sources have claimed: that fully autonomous cars could be on British roads as early as 2030.
Almost half of today’s motorists are disinterested in driverless cars. That’s the major finding of Auto Trader’s latest Market Report, which was published today.

Our survey questioned more than 5500 motorists in the UK and it revealed that we are a nation of car owners, and we intend to stay that way. Over 85% of full license holders own at least one car and 81% of all car owners today are committed to owning cars throughout their lifetime.

45% of motorists who claim no interest in fully-autonomous cars say they enjoy driving too much to find the prospect of a driverless car appealing, with 49% of the same group claiming they know too little about the technology to even gauge their level of interest.

Only 21% of all motorists claim to know what a fully-autonomous vehicle is, and awareness levels drop significantly with older motorists.

But it’s not just awareness that seems to be stunting interest levels with today’s motorists. 44% of 17-44 year olds predict that fully-autonomous cars will not be available in their lifetime, highlighting a large proportion of motorists who share a lack of confidence in either the technology or the UK’s ability to deliver it anytime soon.

However, that’s in direct contrast to what some sources have claimed: that fully autonomous cars could be on British roads as early as 2030.
As consumer interest in autonomous vehicles was evenly split, the Report also looked at which brands or tech companies were the most desirable. Out of the 15 brands that have publicly shared intentions to develop fully-autonomous vehicles, Ford was ranked as the most appealing, with Audi finishing second, ahead of Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, who finished joint third.

Google was the highest-ranking tech company, finishing ninth out of the 15 brands, and despite remaining largely secretive about its car-making plans, Apple finished above car makers Volvo and Hyundai.

Top 10 most viewed hybrid car adverts in 2016
1. Toyota Prius 2. Lexus CT 200h 3. Lexus RX 450h 4. Toyota Auris 5. BMW i8 6. Lexus IS 300h 7. Lexus RX 400h 8. Mercedes E-Class 9. Lexus GS 450h 10. Honda Civic

Top 10 most viewed electric car adverts in 2016
1. Tesla Model S 2. Nissan Leaf 3. BMW i3 4. Renault Zoe 5. Renault Twizy 6. Renault Fluence 7. Mercedes B-Class 8. Volkswagen Golf 9. Peugeot iOn 10. Mitsubishi i-MiEV