Hybrid Is Ireland’s No.1 Preferred Choice


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Key findings from iReach survey:

  • 19% intend to purchase a new car within the next 12 to 18 months
  • 41% of future car buyers plan to buy a hybrid for their next purchase
  • Diesel preference drops to just under 15% with future car buyers
  • Hybrid remains the preference (76%) over pure electric vehicles
  • Toyota regarded as the leading brand for positive impact on the environment 

A new study of Irish motorists conducted by iReach has revealed that prospective new car buyers (41%) are intending to purchase a low CO2 emitting self-charging hybrid, over any other type of passenger vehicle for their next car within the next 12 to 18 months. This comes as diesel continues to decline with just under 15% preference of prospective buyers opting for the fuel choice.

The nationally representative survey of Irish new car buyers saw hybrid come out on top over diesel, petrol, full electric and plug-in hybrid — re-emphasising the important immediate role it has in improving our environmental outlook as the mass market becomes more eco-conscious. These findings reveal the shift from diesel in just three short years, due to the VRT rate that allows hybrid drivers to enjoy lower tax implications associated with low CO2 emitting vehicles. The research supports Toyota’s ongoing vision that hybrid vehicles continue to remain the natural choice for drivers that wish to move away from diesel and create positive change for the environment.

Diesel took a further tumble coming in fourth after EV and petrol at just 14.8% preference with prospective buyers, which is reflective in diesel sales which dropped to 38% this year, in comparison with 48% this time last year. This compounded decline is indicative of the multiple studies that have shown that diesel negatively affects human health as diesel emits comparatively higher harmful NOx and CO2 than hybrids. In 2018, Toyota made the decision to stop producing diesel passenger cars and has helped move customers to self-charging hybrids that have up to 90% less NOX emissions in order to positively contribute to a lower-emissions society. Toyota hybrid vehicles provide a mass market solution for these concerns with the commitment for cleaner air quality for all, with no behaviour change required.

The survey also indicated there may be some good news on the horizon for Ireland’s car motor industry at large with 19% saying they will likely purchase a new car in the next 18 months, representing a 21.8% year on year gain compared to the 15.6% stated intention in March 2020. This potential boost is likely driven by the massive growth in household savings last year driven by the Covid-related €9bn decline in spending.

Looking at specific car brands, the survey spelled good news for Toyota which ranked as the number one preferred car brand overall, and the clear leader in the hybrid category with 49% of all respondents choosing Toyota. When asked were they to buy a new car tomorrow, 17% of new car prospective buyers said they’d choose a Toyota, while the second-ranking brand choice garnered a significantly lower 7.6%. This is further reinforced by Toyota’s best-selling car brand accolade for 2021, with four of Toyota’s vehicles (Corolla, RAV4, C-HR and Yaris) all ranking in the top 10 bestselling car list. Toyota also ranked number one for price, resale value, lowest fuel consumption, build quality, brand reputation, and lowest environmental impact. Regarded as the most trusted brand in Ireland according to the 2021 Ireland RepTrak survey, Toyota claimed the top of the leader board as the most trusted car brand within the market.