Cars of the future


With big names such as Tesla, General Motors, and many others hailing electric vehicles as the future of car manufacturing, at CompareNI we set out to see what motorists really think about the proposed cars of the future. It is generally accepted that electric vehicles are the likely candidate to replace petrol and diesel in the future…but is this something drivers really want?

We asked motorists in Northern Ireland what they really think and give a glimpse into how likely people are to embrace the future of motoring.

What is the future of cars

With a greater corporate and social desire for renewable forms of transport and energy, many companies have sought to get a lead in the development of environmentally friendly vehicles. Governments have also sought to implement policies and laws that will reduce carbon emissions in the future, primarily among these being the UK petrol and diesel car ban, now delayed to 2035.

The concerns cited over this future ban were the likely high costs, issues of practicality for many small businesses, and perhaps most concerning of all, an overall lack of nationwide charging infrastructure. On top of these concerns, it appears that most NI motorists don’t even agree with the ban.

Do you think the government should be banning the sale of petrol/diesel cars? 
CNot applicable3%

What is the future of petrol cars

Despite many opposing the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the coming decade, it is still likely that at some point in the future petrol cars will be phased out by a more renewable alternative. This will likely take a long time however, as the economic and practical disruptions of a rapid switch to electric vehicles are unappealing to motorists and policymakers alike.

In all likelihood you don’t need to worry about replacing your current petrol car any time soon but in the coming decades a change is likely. This change will most likely be in the form of more efficient electric vehicles with greater battery life and more economical designs.

Do drivers like the idea of driverless cars?

Would you be keen to buy a self-driving car?
AYes 11%
BNo 87%
CNot applicable 2%

Aside from renewable energy, driverless cars are also more likely to be a staple feature of future roads. However as shown above most drivers are not yet keen to buy one. This is a fairly consistent trend across the world and is not unique to Northern Ireland.

If no, what do you think is the main issue with self-driving car technology?
AUnsafe 40.50%

These results were surprising but also very suggestive. When surveyed most NI drivers were not keen on the idea of purchasing a self-driving car. This seems to be down to many people not yet being comfortable with the idea of a self-driving vehicle due to safety concerns. Whilst this technology already exists, it is still in its infancy so the concern is understandable. However these attitudes may change in future as the technologies around autonomous vehicles becomes more and more refined.

Have drivers fully warmed to the idea of owning an electric car?

We asked motorists in Northern Ireland which vehicles they currently own. Perhaps unsurprising the majority responded with petrol and diesel. Whilst many agree with the idea of striving for a more renewable and eco- friendly method of transport, the price for electric vehicles was considered to be a major sticking point by the overwhelming majority of NI motorists. 95% agreed with the statement that electric vehicles are currently too expensive. Surprisingly the majority of people surveyed were also not keen on the idea of self-driving vehicles with 87% against the idea.

What types of car do you currently own?
AFully electric4%
EI don’t own a car1%
FNot applicable0%

Another major concern besides price for motorists thinking of adopting an electric vehicle in future was the lack of charging infrastructure. Most respondents felt that there were not enough charging points for an electric vehicle given the distances they travel. 74% of motorists also said that the range of current electric vehicles after full charge was not enough, meaning they need to stop and recharge more frequently than is practical. Given the relatively new design of electric cars, infrastructure has understandably not had time to keep pace. This means that those on a budget will still prefer a classic petrol or diesel car, whilst those who are eco-conscious and have the budget will still likely prefer a hybrid model due to the current lack of support for electric vehicles.


Overall it appears that most motorists in NI aren’t yet ready to adopt an electric vehicle and there appears to not yet be a strong desire to do so. This is mainly down to the costs and practical difficulties of owning one. The new technology is not without teething issues and charging stations and battery range are of a real concern for owners. The price is also still relatively high due to the fact that these vehicles are not yet produced in the quantity needed to drive down the price of manufacture and replacement parts. However as manufacturing of electric vehicles becomes more widespread and the infrastructure for EV charging improves, we can expect to see more drivers opting for an electric vehicle.

In terms of insurance, electric vehicles are currently more expensive to insure. This is simply down to the fact that they are more expensive to repair and replace. However this too will also likely change in future as the vehicles become cheaper and easier to manufacture. There may even come a day when petrol and diesel vehicles are more expensive to insure.

If you already own an electric vehicle however, CompareNI can help you find cheaper premiums fast. Compare multiple quotes from a panel of over 80 insurance providers and get the right insurance for you.

Compare electric car insurance quotes today

Our findings are based on a randomised survey of 1,000 respondents across the UK, which represents a margin of error of approximately 5% at a 95% confidence level.

*51% of consumers could save £529.95 on their Car Insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next five cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website. This is based on representative cost savings from February 2024 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.