Consumer aspirations for cleaner engines are rocketing in the used car market, says BuyaCar

Published at: 7th March 2022

DEMAND for cleaner engines is rocketing in the used car market, according to new figures from the online car supermarket

However, used electric vehicles (EVs) appear to remain aspirational for most buyers as those who set out to find one are most likely to choose an economical petrol model instead.

Hybrids and electric cars have seen the fastest year-on-year growth in searches by car buyers since BuyaCar began monitoring market demand by fuel type six years ago.

Comparing data from February 2021 to February of this year, searches for EVs grew by 78% – the biggest change for any fuel type as a proportion of all search activity.

Searches for hybrid cars demonstrated the second biggest surge, of 44%, meaning that one in every three searches on BuyaCar last month was for a hybrid.

BuyaCar points out that while new car market performance is heavily influenced by the availability and promotion of new products, it’s consumer searches that reflect true changes in consumer demand, which bodes well for Britain’s pursuit of lower tailpipe emissions.

Searches for petrol cars fell below half for the first time and diesel is now hovering around its lowest point, accounting for less than a quarter of initial searches last month.

Buyacar analysts say that the most prominent gap between what car buyers set out to find and what they actually choose to buy is now most marked in the case of diesel. Despite losing ground on initial searches, the continuing strong economic case for running a diesel car sees them continue to account for 30% of sales on

Christofer Lloyd, Editor of, said: “We have reported in the past that diesel is clinging on and that remains true, as diesels continue to sell more strongly than initial searches by fuel type would suggest.

“But the direction of demand in the online used car market is unmistakably toward hybrids and electrics as the level of searches for petrol cars falls significantly below half for the first time.

“However, EVs clearly continue to remain aspirational for most people arriving on BuyaCar looking to find one, as most continue to end up buying a petrol car, contributing to petrol’s continued dominance of the market, accounting for 65% of all sales last month.” 


For further information please contact Christofer Lloyd, Editor of, on 07762 300016 or email

Karen Parry,