CarGurus Research Suggests EV Grants Cuts Are Out of Step With UK Drivers

  • More car buyers would make switch to EVs if policy changes created the right conditions
  • Greater number of charging stations (64%) and tax incentives (60%) most impactful for prospective EV buyers
  • News comes shortly after UK government announces further cuts to EV grants
  • Increased fuel prices, tax incentives and expanded charging networks all weighed in the balance for potential shoppers
  • Electric Vehicle Sentiment Survey can be found at:

London, UK, 26th March 2021 New research from CarGurus ( suggests that recently-announced cuts to electric vehicle (EV) grants are at odds with the steps most likely to persuade drivers considering switching to alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

The UK government has announced its intention to reduce grants for EV buyers from £3,000 to £2,500 (a further reduction from the £4,500 offered this time last year) while also decreasing the price cap for eligible vehicles from £50,000 to £35,000.

According to new research commissioned by online automotive marketplace CarGurus, however, these steps are at odds with the actions which UK drivers say would be most likely to push them toward choosing an EV as their next vehicle.

The impact the grant cuts might have on consumer adoption of EVs is clearly a concern for manufacturers, too. Peugeot, Citroen, Kia and Vauxhall are among the brands to have announced price reductions to ensure their models remain eligible for the plug-in car grant.

When questioned on which changes would be most effective in coaxing them away from their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)-powered vehicles, tax incentives / rebates (60%) and a greater availability of charging stations in their area (64%) received the highest frequency of strongly favourable responses.
Recent freezes in fuel duty for drivers of petrol and diesel vehicles are similarly unlikely to expedite electrification. In fact, the survey results indicated that if fuel prices reached £2 per litre, a third (34%) of drivers would be much more likely to consider an EV. While if they climbed to £3 per litre, over half (55%) of drivers would be more inclined to go electric.

CarGurus, the fastest-growing online automotive marketplace in the UK , also revealed that nearly 41% of buyers planning to buy an EV in the next decade would consider buying it as used.

This latest cut to the plug-in car grant for new cars could result in even higher numbers of prospective EV buyers turning to the used car market, where many of the financial incentives linked to running an EV (including their very low running costs) can still be enjoyed.

For the scores of drivers interested in purchasing a used electric vehicle, CarGurus’ site features a dedicated Used EV Hub to simplify the buying journey, from the first stage of research through to the vehicle handover.

Chris Knapman, Editor at CarGurus UK, said, There’s no doubt that the rate of adoption of EVs will need to accelerate if the Government is to meet its ambition for the UK to be a world leader in transitioning to zero emissions motoring. As such it is a surprise to see that the grant for purchasing new EVs has been reduced yet again, particularly when our own research shows these grants are so important in the quest to drive EV adoption.

While the reduction in the plug-in grant might impact the sales of new electric cars, those keen to explore EV motoring will find that the used market has more choice than ever. To complement the extensive used EV listings from top-rated dealers on CarGurus, we’ve complied everything somebody considering the purchase of a used EV might need. This includes detailed reviews of the most popular models, advice around home charging, information on battery degradation, and lots more.



In February 2021, CarGurus surveyed 1,005 automobile owners in the UK on their sentiments towards electric vehicles through an online survey. Respondents were balanced in terms of key demographics (gender, region, income).

About CarGurus, Inc.

Founded in 2006 by TripAdvisor co-founder, Langley Steinert, CarGurus, Inc. (Nasdaq: CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace that uses proprietary technology and data analytics to connect buyers and sellers of cars. The company launched in 2015 and acquired UK-based in 2019. CarGurus operates CarGurus UK and PistonHeads as distinct consumer brands, with combined dealership sales operations.

CarGurus is the most visited automotive shopping site in the U.S. and is the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK iii. PistonHeads is the UK’s leading premium automotive marketplace and the largest online motoring community in the UK . In addition to the United Kingdom and the United States, CarGurus also operates an online marketplace in Canada.

CarGurus® is a registered trademark of CarGurus, Inc. PistonHeads® is a registered trademark of CarGurus Ireland Limited. All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

© 2021 CarGurus, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Contact: Amy Mueller at CarGurus –
Nick Bearn at Performance Communications –

1.Announced by the government on March 18th:

  1. Source:

    3.Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Total Unique Monthly Visitors, Custom-defined list includes:,,,, Jan 2019 – Dec 2019 to Jan 2020 - Dec 2020, UK.

    4.Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Automotive – Information/Resources, Total Audience, Q4 2020, U.S. (Competitive set:,,,

    1. Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Automotive – Information/Resources, Total audience, Q4 2020, UK. Custom-defined list includes: PistonHeads Sites,,,,,

    2. Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Total Audience, Q4 2020, UK. Custom list defined by CarGurus includes: PistonHeads Sites and

Amy Mueller