For 90 percent of all drivers, saying goodbye to the car is out of the question. The biggest concern is not being able to afford to drive. A “traffic turnaround” has been propagated for years – it still has little to do with reality.

Will the car become a luxury that only a few can afford? Half of the car owners in Germany now have this fear. 77 percent of consumers are dependent on the car every day because local public transport is poorly developed at their place of residence and work.

These are the results of the DAT Report 2023. The end consumer study is published annually and is based on a representative GfK survey of 4,600 private car buyers and car owners.

The fear seems justified, because the prices for new and used cars have risen to an unprecedented extent in 2022. The average new car buyer spent 42,790 euros on his car, 5,000 euros more than in the previous year. Used cars changed hands for an average of 18,800 euros (plus 3,000 euros). “This means that used car prices have doubled within ten years,” says DAT spokesman Martin Endlein. According to his assessment, the reasons are the low supply of new and used cars combined with high demand. 13 percent of those surveyed therefore canceled their originally planned car purchase: The high prices for used and new cars as well as the general price increase deterred them.

The latest DAT report also shows that the politically desired “drive and transport turnaround” towards electrified cars encounters numerous obstacles in everyday life. Example electric cars: Two thirds of new and one third of used car buyers have dealt with the topic. However, four fifths of new car customers bought a car with a combustion engine.

The main reasons for the rejection of the electric car are the short range, the high purchase price and the long charging times. The poorly developed charging infrastructure is mentioned in fourth place. DAT spokesman Endlein: “Last year this problem was still in third place. So the situation has improved here.” After all, in 2002 the same number of battery electric cars as diesel cars were newly registered: 18 percent each. Every third new car, on the other hand, was a petrol engine. This means that combustion engines are still by far the most popular type of drive.

In the case of used car buyers, the proportion of e-cars is naturally even lower, which is due to the smaller supply: only seven percent of the transfers of ownership were hybrids or electric vehicles. Understandable, because used car buyers often don’t know where to charge their electric car: Only 41 percent have their own garage or an underground parking space. That’s 67 percent of new car buyers. However, being dependent on public charging stations is expensive and cumbersome. Because there the storm sometimes costs twice as much as at home.

The data shows that more and more car buyers are seriously considering the topic of electromobility, but fail to implement it in everyday life. This also applies to the much-discussed traffic turnaround away from private cars towards public transport and new mobility concepts: Two thirds of the residents of small towns (less than 20,000 inhabitants) rate the local public transport at their place of residence as bad or very bad. But at least 41 people live there percent of the population.

“It’s different in the big city, where a third of all people in Germany live. There, 34 percent of those who own a car say that public transport is very well developed, 5 2 percent think it is good,” says the DAT report. Saying goodbye to the car is easier here. But the policy of the traffic light government, which increases costs with ever higher CO2 taxes and wants to push back car traffic in favor of public transport, seems to be all the more removed from everyday reality the further away you are from the center of the big cities.

However, it is not only practical obstacles such as gaps in local transport that stand in the way of really fundamental changes – but also the high emotional attachment to one’s own four wheels: 86 percent of car owners enjoy driving a car, 90 percent felt they were mobile without a car limited, 91 percent appreciate its freedom and independence. However, 53 percent of car owners believe that individual mobility needs to change, with fewer cars and more alternatives to private cars. However, there is a lack of alternatives such as car and ride sharing, where several people share a car or a journey in many places – and even in the city, the traffic, including the hardly improved traffic jam situation, shows that most people prefer to drive their own car. (Guido Reinking, cen)

This article was written by Guido Reinking, cen

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