Added: 01 March 2018

Comfort and safety remain the two most important considerations for motorists when choosing which new car to buy, but the car’s carbon footprint is rapidly increasing in importance, according to the latest AA Populus poll.

The AA asked over 17,000 of its members what the most important considerations were for them when buying a car.  The top three responses were comfort (50%), safety features (48%) and the car’s carbon footprint (27%).  Simon Benson, Director of Motoring Services at AA Cars, commented:  “Over the course of the last year, there’s been a notable shift in drivers’ priorities – one of the most striking trends amongst consumers is to more consciously consider the ‘green’ aspects of their next vehicle when heading down to the forecourt.”

Of the ‘driverless’ features currently available on cars, panel members were most likely to want Adaptive Cruise Control (58%), Automatic Emergency Braking (57%) and Lane Departure Warnings (57%).

Seven in ten AA members claimed to be familiar with the concept of automated vehicles, but when it came to trust in automated vehicles they were less sure with just 23% saying they would trust a vehicle to drive itself while they were in it.  The biggest perceived benefit of automated vehicles was their potential to help the elderly or disabled have improved access to mobility with 61% thinking this would be beneficial.

Some 10% of survey participants said they believed that vehicles with ‘Level 3: Conditionally Automated’ features (where hands can be taken off the wheel on the motorway) would be available to buy within the next two years, with 15% believing it will take more than a decade before they are commercially available.  Just 3% believed that ‘Level 5: Fully Automated’ vehicles (where driver intervention is not needed) would be available to buy within the next two years.