Results of NFDA’s Consumer Attitude Survey 2023
Price is the main driver of automotive decisions in the UK
National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) is pleased to announce the results of its Consumer Attitude Survey 2023.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK commissioned YouGov on the 27 and 28 September to the dimensions of gender, age and geography on the basis of an ideal weighting from Statistics UK, so that the results are representative of the population in relation to UK adults aged 18+.
The main objectives of the survey were to explore current consumer perceptions of franchised dealers and their competitors as well as understand consumer behaviour.
- 62% of UK consumers thought price was the key barrier to purchasing an EV
- 26% of UK consumers drive less to avoid high fuel costs as a result of the cost-of-living crisis
- 42% of UK consumers would buy an EV because of the running cost advantages such as electricity being cheaper than diesel or petrol
- 34% of UK consumers trust franchised dealers compared to only 14% of UK consumers trusting an independent garage
- 55% of respondents over the age of 55 are not interested in buying an EV, significantly higher than other age groups
Electrification Reasons stopping consumers buying an EV
The survey set out to understand consumer behaviour in the UK and in particular around some of the major themes such as electrification. Price remains the biggest barrier to entry to buying an EV with 62% of consumers saying that is the case. 57% cited the lack of charging infrastructure in the UK and 54% had concerns over battery life in existing EV models.
However, the two main reasons to purchase an EV were the running cost advantages (42%) and the environmental benefits (36%).
This demonstrates that there is a careful balance between price and the environment which needs to be negotiated in the minds of UK drivers.
When dissecting the data by age brackets, the majority of respondents that were not interested in buying an EV all together were over the age of 35. In particular, 60% of those over 55+ years old stated that they were not interested. The younger generation showed more positive inclinations that they would like to switch, with 71% of 18-24 year olds interested in buying an electric vehicle.
Consumers trust Franchised Dealers
The survey explored current consumer perceptions of franchised dealers and their competitors. Overall, 34% of consumers were satisfied with the performance of franchised dealers with only 6% being dissatisfied.
Reasons to choose a franchised dealership
Consumers chose franchised dealers, compared to other retailers such as independent garages, for a number of factors including: competitive price models (55%), the availability of EV models (31); and quality of service (27%).
Franchised dealers were expected to provide test drive capabilities (73%) and an option for online browsing (52%), demonstrating the vital importance of omnichannel retailing in this sector. Most franchised dealers now operate a Bricks and Clicks strategy meeting this demand from the UK consumer. What has been evidenced by some of the online only retailers is that UK consumers still want the ability to come to a dealership, speak with a professional and test drive a vehicle before making a purchase.
The survey clearly demonstrated how the cost of living crisis has affected UK consumer attitudes in the automotive sector. In nearly every segment the deciding factor when making a decision was cost. For example, the most important factor when searching online for a dealer was cost (32%), far higher than positive reviews (20%), or customer service (13%). Price was the also the primary reason to choose a franchised dealership with 55% of consumers believing that was the most influential factor.
The 2023 Consumer Attitude Survey has demonstrated a number of key points for the automotive market. We are at an EV tipping point where price and the environment are balancing each other in the consumers mind. NFDA continues to work with franchised dealers on schemes such as Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) to help them, help UK consumers with the transition.
Cost of living, as with so many other areas of life, has been an important factor in automotive decision making and franchised dealers will continue to support consumers helping them make the right decision for their needs.
Finally, it was pleasing to see a high level of consumer satisfaction with franchised dealers and an acknowledgement from the consumer that omni-channel retailing is the future of automotive retailing.
To find out more about the survey or to receive the results in full please visit: https://www.nfda-uk.co.uk/downloads/NFDA-Consumer-Attitude-Survey-2023.pdf.
Sue Robinson, CEO, NFDA, said:
“The Consumer Attitude Survey provides a unique insight into consumer behaviour and industry as the car evolves from internal combustion engine to the electric vehicle. NFDA’s members are at the coal face of this industry, working every day alongside consumers, hearing their concerns, and answering their questions. We would urge everyone to take note of apprehensions around the cost of living and understand the balance between price and environment when it comes to the EV transition. Going forward, NFDA will continue to commission the Consumer Attitude Survey every year to track changes in consumer attitudes, building a data set that will inform future decision making.”
NOTES TO EDITORS -
Adam Weeks, NFDA Communications Officer
Direct: 020 7307 3413
Mobile: 0788 003 9897
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK. There are more than 4,500 franchise outlets in the UK and over 540,000 people working in the automotive retail sector.
We lobby on behalf of our members to ensure the voice of the dealers is heard and we support them with a number of issues that impact automotive retail businesses on a day-to-day basis. These include retailers’ relationships with their manufacturers, policy and legislation changes, and industry issues in key areas such as used cars, finance and insurance, aftersales and recruitment.