From a client this week, “I want my advertising to reach motorists who are actually driving, in environments like yours.”

A fifth of all UK traffic is motorway traffic. 2/3 of those who then stop at Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) are travelling for leisure. Their dwell time is 20 minutes; twice that number if they’re charging an Electric Vehicle (EV). 77% of drivers stop at least once at an MSA on journeys over 90 minutes. MSAs are transforming at scale to meet changing demand. As the most-used electric charger networks, 3,500 superfast chargers are planned across the UK. 650 digital OOH screens – all delivered by 100% renewable energy – will be in place nationally this year.

Those visiting an MSA are twice as likely to be planning to buy a new car, with EV owners 8 times more likely to visit MSAs. The audience is 3.5 times more likely to be company car drivers and 69% of families visit an MSA, particularly at this time of year.

Times are changing in new car purchasing. 75% of drivers are now considering an EV as their next purchase; with 1 in 50 on the road and 1 in 8 new car sales. We’ve seen this shift from a third in just 3-4 years; EV drivers have become more confident on longer journeys, suffering less from long-range charger anxiety.

Other behaviours are changing, not least in a shift towards online buying. Only 11% are now thinking predominately about the brand or make car for their next purchase. Two factors dominate. 1 is fuel type/the environment (over half). 2 is Price – only at 26% but nearly double that amongst petrol/diesel users. This has implication for messaging, type of advertising and the context of that communication.

We’re still using the roads in the current economic climate, June data telling us that 78% are driving more or the same amount (down to two-thirds of those with petrol/diesel engines). Only 23% claim to be driving less. It will widen the consideration span for EVs even further and we’ll continue to monitor.

We’re still recording audience growth at MSAs around Key Moments, and still out-stripping other transport networks only just returning to near-normal. The Jubilee and Glastonbury boosted MSA audiences; the Women’s Euros, Commonwealth Games and a revived Staycation summer will keep audiences – motorists – moving up and down the country in the coming months.