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Dealers should keep ahead of the autonomy curve, says Close Brothers

Close Brothers Motor Finance’s director of sales Sean Kemple

Dealers have been advised to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to developments in autonomous vehicles as a result of insight gained from Close Brothers Motor Finance's Britain Under the Bonnet report.

Well over half (55%) of UK motorists would not consider purchasing an autonomous vehicle, with scepticism around safety and technology causing the biggest concerns, according to the report from Close Brothers Motor Finance.

Just a fifth (20%) would consider buying a car with partial or total self-driving features, but 19% do not trust the technology.

UK motorists have major concerns ahead of the new government guidelines being introduced this year, allowing autonomous tests without a human.

Close Brothers Motor Finance’s director of sales, Sean Kemple, said: “The momentum of discussion around autonomous cars continues to grow, but unanimously positive consumer sentiment toward these vehicles has yet to come into fruition.”

Over a quarter (26%) would need to see more evidence in relation to safety before ever considering one. Almost one five (19%) also said they simply don’t like the idea of them.

Kemple said: “Despite this, in order to keep ahead of the curve dealers would be wise to engage with the developments of autonomous vehicles so that they have a holistic view of the industry.

"This will allow them to make the most informed decisions about these types cars, for their forecourts, when the time comes.”

Younger drivers are warmer to driverless vehicles, with almost a third (32%) of 22-30 year olds showing interest in purchasing one, compared to just one in ten (11%) of the 45+ cohort.

There’s also a glaring gender gap, with only 15% of women considering driverless cars compared to 23% of their male counterparts.

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