Reveal Marketing Research study about Romanians’ mentality and behavior regarding their cars. The hybrid or electric car represents an alternative that Romanians tend to take into account on their next purchase
In the context in which the registrations of new cars in Romania increased, in February 2023, by 44.49% compared to the same period last year, and the interest in hybrid or electric cars is ever greater, the latest study conducted by Reveal Marketing Research aimed to evaluate the attitudes and behaviors of Romanians regarding their cars and how they have evolved compared to the similar study conducted in February 2021.
- 5 out of 10 Romanians (48%) intend to change their current car within 1-3 years
- 4 out of 10 Romanians intend to purchase their next car by accessing the Rabla program
- 73% of Romanians consider making the transition to a hybrid or electric motorization in the future, but the undeveloped infrastructure represents a strong barrier
How long have Romanians bought their current car?
Most of the Romanians declare that they own the current car for less than 2 years (34%), to a significantly greater extent young people aged between 18-24 (62%) and those between 25-35 (44%), age categories for which the chances of synchronizing the moment of purchasing the current car with obtaining the driver’s license are higher.
As buying a car has become more affordable and people need more mobility, we observe that 42% of those in rural areas declare they have owned their current car for less than 2 years (vs. 32% in urban areas).
On the same note, 27% of Romanians declare that they own the current car for 3-5 years, while 21% mention a period of 5-10 years, and 18% have the car for more than 10 years. Mature people over 55 are the most attached to their current cars, with 35% of them owning them for more than 10 years.
Half of Romanians (48%) intend to change their current car within 1-3 years
If we take a look at the intention to change the car, it could be observed that most people intend to change it in the near future, 48% mentioning an interval of 1-3 years, and 16% the period of the current year. 17% of Romanians have plans to change their car over an average period of 3-5 years.
For mature people over 55, changing their car is not a priority, with 33% of them mentioning that they plan to change their car in 5 years or more (vs. 20% total sample).
6 out of 10 Romanians think that a hybrid or electric car suits their lifestyle
According to the APIA Statistical Bulletin from the end of 2022, of the total number of new cars registered during the year, gasoline cars still rule the top (64.5%), the percentage of diesel cars decreases by 5% compared to 2021, reaching 13.8 %, and the electric and full-hybrid cars gain an increasing share of the market, reaching 21.7% (vs. 15.5% at the end of 2021).
According to the Reveal Marketing Research study, the majority of Romanians believe that hybrid motorization is the most reliable alternative at present (43%), followed by gasoline (25%), diesel (19%) and full-electric (13%) .
Looking at the appeal and preferences for the different types of cars available, 45% of Romaninans think that a hybrid car would best suit their lifestyle, especially for those ones over 55 years old (54%) and rather in urban areas (47% vs. 36% rural).
23% of respondents describe the car with a conventional gasoline engine as the most suitable, while 19% say that they prefer a diesel car (especially young people between 18-34 years – 29%), and 13% a full-electric car.
73% of Romanians consider switching to a hybrid or electric car in the future
49% of Romanians consider purchasing a hybrid car, while 24% would choose an electric car, and 25% do not consider changing the gasoline/ diesel engine.
The percentages that measure the desire to make the transition to a hybrid or full-electric model in the future register small percentage decreases (of 2% and 4%, respectively) compared to the study conducted in February 2021, but the desire to purchase these types of cars continues to be dominant.
The representatives of generation Z (18-24 years old) are attracted to the extremes, being more excited either by the idea of purchasing a full-electric car (29%), or by the conventional gasoline/ diesel engine (33%), the hybrid car being preferred in a significantly lower measure compared to the total sample (38%).
Among the 73% of Romanians interested in making the transition to hybrid/ electric motorization, 60% intend to make the switch in the next 3 or 5 years – the time horizon associated with the change intention has not register significant changes compared to February 2021 (58%).
On the other hand, 14% intend to make the change in the next year, while 18% mention a period of more than 5 years, and 8% a period of more than 10 years.
Our country is still underdeveloped as infrastructure for electric cars, according to half of Romanians (52%)
One of the potential reasons for which some drivers do not want to give up conventional fuel cars is the lack of infrastructure. The data show us that half of the Romanians (52%) believe that the country is undeveloped as infrastructure for electric cars, and on a closer look, we notice that drivers over 55 are the most vehement in this belief (62%).
At the same time, 37% of respondents declare themselves undecided, while 11% believe that Romania has a suitable infrastructure at present. The percentage of those who believe that our country is sufficiently prepared for this kind of sustainable approach is increasing compared to 2021 when a score of only 5% was recorded.
The level of pessimism is decreasing if we take into account Romania’s ability to take measures in the next 3 years to improve the infrastructure for electric cars, with 41% expressing their pessimism, 44% declaring themselves undecided, and 16% optimistic.
The reduction in pollution continues to be the main perceived benefit of electric cars, mentioned by 54% of Romanians (down by 19 percentage points vs. February 2021), followed by greater cost efficiency (23%) and the modern and innovative character of the car (16%). Considering that the popularity of electric cars is constantly growing, their modern and innovative feature takes on greater importance compared to February 2021 when it registered a score of 9%.
4 out of 10 Romanians intend to purchase their next car through the Rabla program
The top of the most frequently used ways to pay for a car owned to date is made up of: accessing personal savings (52%), money received from family/friends (24%), credit for personal needs (23%) and the Rabla program (15%). As expected, young people between 18-24 years relied on the help received from family/friends to a significantly higher extent than the total sample (33%).
Taking a look at the future prospects regarding the purchase of the next car, we notice that most Romanians intend to access their personal savings (48%), the Rabla program (37%) or a loan for personal needs (19%).
Both the increased interest in hybrid or electric cars and the popularity of subsidies offered by the state for encouraging their purchase make the chances for Romanians to choose such an option in the future to increase exponentially.
 Car registrations in Romania – February 2023, ACAROM – Association of Automobile Manufacturers from Romania
About Reveal Marketing Research
Reveal Marketing Research is a full-service market research company, specialized in market research, sociological studies, customer insight, business strategy, market development. With expertise in over 20 industries, Reveal Marketing Research believes that market research is the basis for the right decisions and brand positioning. Qualitative and quantitative solutions have been helping companies in Romania and Europe for 14 years.
Methodology: The Reveal Marketing Research study was conducted online 15-17.02.2023 on a representative sample for the universe of people aged 18+, internet users, urban and rural residents. The sample size was 1008 respondents, and the maximum sampling error is +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence level.
*** The data belongs to the market research company Reveal Marketing Research and is used to put in context the future business studies for the company’s clients.