ON THE ROAD- INSURANCE REMAINS A KEY CONCERN FOR IRISH MOTORISTS

Insurance premiums remain the number one financial concern for Irish motorists according tothe latest Motoring Report from car buying experts Carzone. Fuel was the second biggest concern followed by motor tax.

The bi-annual index which examines trends in the Irish motoring market finds that 3 in 4 Irish people have noticed an increase in their insurance premium in the last year and a third have downgraded their policy due to the cost.

The Carzone Motoring Report is compiled by analysing data from the 70 million searches carried out on Carzone from June to November of this year, as well as an in-depth survey of 2,030 Irish motorists.

Running costs

Just over a third (37%) spend between €120-€200 running their car each month while 15% say they spend in excess of €300 per month keeping their car on the road. Over half (56%) believe the cost of running their car has increased in the last year.

Going electric

The demand for electric cars is increasing in Ireland, 16% of those surveyed said they would consider buying an electric car in the near future. In fact, the number of searches for electric cars on Carzone has increased by over 180% year-on-year in 2017.

This could be due to the fact that a new zero percent rate of Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) incentive on electric vehicles makes them more attractive for businesses. Being kind to the environment was the number one reason why people would switch to an electric car but a lack of available charging points was the key factor in not making the switch. 82% say they do not have access to a charging point at their workplace and for rural dwellers availability of a charging point is an issue. Just 30% of those living rurally have a charging station less than 5km away.

Over half (54%) would consider buying a hybrid in the near future but only 16% would consider going fully electric. Over two thirds (69%) believe it will be more than 10 years before electric cars make up more than half of the cars sold in Ireland.

The long commute

Over a third (34%) of motorists polled have seen their commute time increase over the last 12 months with 1 in 5 spending over an hour commuting to work each day. Almost three quarters (72%) travel to work in their car and 88% use their car every day. Despite availability of public transport, 69% of those surveyed who live in an urban area drive to work.

Buying a car

The outlook for the motoring industry remains positive going in to 2018 with 34% planning to purchase a brand new or used car next year. Of those that are planning to buy a used car, a significant 30% intend to buy a relatively new model looking at 151 or above. Of those planning to buy a car in 2018, 35% intend to do using their savings, 28% will take a loan from the Credit Union and 17% plan to use PCP.

When shopping around for a car 74% of those surveyed carried out their buying research online and 77% purchased vehicles from dealerships. The research carried out also cited that urban dwellers update their car more often, with one in five purchasing a car every three years. However, one in four rural residents revealed that they update their car every five years.

Over half (58%) have considered purchasing a car from the UK and men are more likely to purchase a car from the UK than women (68% vs 43%). Price and higher spec vehicles were the key reasons motorists felt they could bag a bargain in the UK but on the downside the hassle of purchasing from the UK and the lack of after sales service were key deterrents.

Irelands Firm Favourites

The Volkswagen Golf remains the most searched for car on Carzone, which is clearly a firm favourite for Irish drivers. The most searched for new car continues to be the 172 Mercedes Benz-E Class. Black remains the most popular colour choice (31%) followed closely by white (23%) and blue (8%).

As the interest in electric and hybrid cars continues to grow, the most popular electric and hybrid makes and models searched on Carzone are, the Hyundai IONIQ and the Toyota Auris.

Commenting on the latest report, Eoin Lally, Operations Director Carzone said:

“This our ninth edition of the Carzone Motoring Report, where we examine trends and new topics in the Irish motoring industry, such as electric cars and how Brexit may impact car sales in Ireland.

Rising insurance premiums remain the key concern for drivers with a third downgrading their policy as a result of these increases. Fuel and motor tax are also amongst the top financial concerns for Irish motorists. However, the outlook for the motoring industry remains positive going in to 2018 with 34% planning to purchase a brand new or used car next year.

Our research delved into the topic of electric and hybrid cars this year, which revealed that 70% of drivers would consider purchasing an electric or hybrid car in the near future. Irish drivers are becoming more environmentally conscious with the majority stating that the main incentive to purchase is that it’s better for the environment.”

To access a full copy of the report, visit: www.carzone.ie/report