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Over 4.3 million Australians plan to buy a new car in the next four years

Data released by Roy Morgan Research has revealed that over 4.3 million Australians plan on purchasing a new car in the next four years, with hybrid vehicle preference increasing significantly.

The survey from Roy Morgan included in-depth interviews with over 1,000 Australians each week, which accumulated to over 60,000 participants a year.

For the first time, the inclination towards hybrid or fully electric cars has exceeded the desire to purchase a petrol car; 1,880,000 and 1,689,000 respectively.

Petrol cars are still the most popular with 39 per cent of new car intenders preferring this vehicle type, however, this figure has decreased by 81,000 compared to a year ago.

Hybrid vehicles have risen in preference to 1,273,000 equating to roughly 30 per cent of new car intenders and is the second most popular type of car.

Fully electric cars surged by 37,000 compared to last year as 607,000 Australians intend to purchase an EV in the next four years.

The preference for hybrid and electric cars is unsurprising as new car sales for both types of cars have increased steadily in the last five years as petrol cars gradually declined.

In contrast to hybrid and electric cars, diesel cars have decreased significantly as 498,000 Australians intend to buy a diesel car in the next four years. This is a surprising 130,000 decrease compared to last year as it marks only 12 per cent of new car intenders favouring a diesel car.

Seen as another sustainable alternative, hydrogen-powered cars have proven not to be as popular as their electric counterparts as a mere 17,000 people intended to purchase this type of car, marking a decrease of 6,000 compared to a year ago.

It’s worth noting that 218,000 people who intend to purchase a car didn’t know what type of car it would be.

CEO of Roy Morgan, Michele Levine, says that the intention to buy hybrid and electric vehicles is rising significantly at the expense of petrol and diesel cars, which is indicative of the changing car preferences of Australians.

“This growth far outstrips that for electric vehicles, up 37,000 to 607,000 (14% of new vehicle intenders) and shows the perceived benefits surrounding hybrid cars are an increasingly attractive force for those in the market for a new car,” Ms Levine said.

“Looking at these two classes of vehicles together shows that 1,880,000 (up 191,000) people now intend to purchase either a hybrid or fully electric car in the next four years – ahead of the preference for petrol vehicles (1,689,000) for the first time.

“The latest figures on intention to buy show the preference to buy an electric vehicle (‘EV’) in the next four years has overtaken diesel vehicles for the first time. This no doubt reflects the increasing choice available in the local EV market.”

Toyota continues to be the most popular car choice, Ms Levine said, as over 20 per cent of all Australian new car intenders prefer the Japanese car maker, which is more than double that of any competing car manufacturer.

Toyota’s popularity was further solidified in 2023 as it sold 215,240 new cars, more than double the second most popular car brand, Mazda which sold 100,008 new cars in 2023.

Despite Toyota’s popularity, Hyundai, Kia, Tesla, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Lexus, Volvo, GWM and BYD (Build Your Dream) increased their preference levels in new car intenders compared to a year ago.

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