Do Older Car Buyers Care More For Environment?

Sat 29th Jan 2022

The more mature driver has a greater consideration for the environmental impact of their vehicle says new research.

The older the buyer the more likely he or she is likely to ask questions about fuel economy and a vehicle’s lifespan, with 44 per cent of over 65s considering it an important consideration. At the other end of the age scale only 29 per cent of 18-24-year-olds consider how economical their new car purchase might be. The same story too when it comes to emissions, with 35 per cent of over 65s thinking it is important, but only 24 per cent of the youngest age bracket.

However, that is not to say that the younger drivers have no concept of the environmental impact of a car, maybe that they just expect others to take care of it, with carbon offset schemes most highly valued by 25-34-year-olds (23%) compared to just 13 per cent of over 65s - maybe because the older generation haven’t heard of carbon offsetting.

What we’re seeing is the emergence of a ‘grandparent effect’ in car choice, whereby older buyers are giving more consideration to the impact their next purchase will have on the planet than they’ve previously been credited with,” said Dermot Kelleher, from eBay who conducted the research.

“The more widely held belief is that young consumers are driving the green debate. However, our research shows when it comes to their next car choice, the over 65s are actively engaged and factoring in the legacy they’re leaving for their children and grandchildren.

“The showroom dynamics between different age groups is revealing. Older buyers visiting their local used car dealer are possibly more likely to have built a relationship with a salesperson over the years and are actively looking for expert guidance when it comes to the environmental impact of their next car and whether to go electric. It’s therefore important for dealers to engage with older buyers on the environmental benefits of the cars they’re selling.

“Dealers also have a role to play in promoting their carbon offset credentials, especially to younger buyers looking to make their purchase as carbon neutral as possible. For these buyers carbon offsetting is more likely to be part of their broader lifestyle choices, not just a consideration when buying a car.”