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Car buyers reveal hybrid knowledge gap

Honda hybrid

More than half of Brits (52%) believe their next car is likely to be a hybrid vehicle, according to new research by Honda.

However, despite this strong intention to go greener, 68% of petrol and diesel drivers reckon they do not know enough to buy one.

“While 68% of petrol and diesel drivers say that they do not feel they know enough to purchase a hybrid vehicle, this is unlikely to be because there is a lack of information,” said behavioural scientist Professor Ivo Vlaev, of Warwick Business School.

“Rather, it is because information can be overwhelming. We are all bombarded with much more information than we can possibly consciously pay attention to.

“When we have a natural desire to know everything before making a big decision – such as with a car purchase – this is difficult to achieve and so we ‘tune out’ and instead go with an easy, familiar decision.

“The familiar decision in this case is another petrol or diesel car because we have purchased one of those before.”

When it comes to technology, the study revealed that hybrid drivers consider themselves to be early adopters.

A third (33%) say that they are likely to try new technology before friends and family, in comparison to 18% of fossil fuel drivers.

This attitude also influences whether they update other items of personal tech, with only 15% of diesel and petrol drivers likely to upgrade their mobile phones before others, in comparison to 27% of hybrid drivers. This contrast is consistent when it comes to vehicles too.

On the environment, the majority (80%) of UK drivers are concerned about climate change, with the research finding that hybrid drivers are much more likely to feel a strong sense of responsibility towards the environment (27% vs 18%) and to consider themselves an environmentalist (50% vs 37%).

To help motorists who may be considering a switch to a lower emission vehicle, Honda has developed a What’s Your Gap? quiz.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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