As we near the halfway point in 2022, what trends are emerging in the car market, and how are our driving habits changing compared with previous years?
Each passing year as more people choose to scrap an old car and upgrade to a newer model, the mix of vehicles on the roads gets newer overall too.
That leads to a changing in driving styles and vehicle characteristics. With the second half of 2022 around the corner, here are some of the trends emerging from this steady evolution.
Cheap as Chips
Reduced production during the pandemic and the release of pent-up consumer demand for electronic goods has led to a shortage of computer chips, including those used in modern vehicles.
Global advertising platform Teads found a whopping 89% of motorists who are planning to buy a new car in the next two years are aware of this silicon crunch and 31% are allowing it to affect their buying decision.
In particular, 14% said they will look at used cars if they want to buy a vehicle as soon as possible.
To Buy or Not To Buy?
The question of when to buy is on the agenda too. The Teads research found 8% of motorists who wanted to buy a car immediately are now likely to delay, including 5% of European drivers.
Price is always a factor, and 31% of drivers globally (including 34% of Europeans) believe they will get a better deal on their next vehicle if they wait.
This could be a false economy – when you scrap an old car you can turn it into cash to put towards a newer vehicle, and with fuel prices sky-high you could save a small fortune in improved fuel efficiency too.
Kill Your Speed
IAM RoadSmart, the road safety charity operated by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, has found that years of road safety campaigns are having an effect on how fast drivers think it is acceptable to go.
Compared with a previous survey six years ago, the proportion of people who think doing 80mph on the motorway is OK has fallen from 56% to 42% at the end of 2021.
The percentage who think it is acceptable to drive even faster than that is much lower still, down from 28% to 21%, and in residential settings the share of drivers who admit to doing 5mph over the speed limit is down from 17% to 10%.
It’s impossible to ignore the switch over to electric cars, and figures from the EV Charging Survey by charge point mapping app Zap-Map has found high satisfaction rates among drivers who have changed from internal combustion engines to battery power.
The survey found less than 1% of motorists would prefer to switch back to petrol or diesel for long-distance journeys – suggesting old worries about the range of EVs are no longer an issue.
With a range of government incentives and tax breaks for new EVs, it’s clear that we are coming into the peak period to scrap a petrol or diesel car and go all-electric.
En Route Charging
Finally, those fading concerns about range are being helped on their way by massive improvements in ultra-rapid charging infrastructure.
Zap-Map found there were 60% more public ultra-rapid chargers in 2021, compared with the previous year.
Among drivers surveyed, 52% said they regularly recharge at the supermarket and 50% regularly use motorway service station charge points – a sure sign that some of the fastest charge points are now available in the most convenient places.