Keeping up with the Joneses

People in the South West are officially keeping up with the Joneses, according to new research released today.

The study, by the joint industry/government funded Go Ultra Low campaign for electric vehicles, has benchmarked how the people in the South West are aspiring to keep up with the Joneses.

People from the South West like to eat British cuisine (96%) most of all, with the majority preferring to cook from scratch as much as possible (54%).  Likewise, the Joneses’ favourite food is also British. When it comes to holidays, the top destination of choice for people from the South West is the UK (31%) – unlike the Joneses who prefer trips to Europe.

The Joneses are 15% more likely to consider an ultra low emission vehicle than the wider population and 65% of people in the South West are also keen for greener motoring. 2 The cost – from just 2p-per-mile – also resonates strongly, with 91% of local people saying it’s a compelling offer.

Their cost-aware nature also applies to where they buy their groceries with 36% citing Tesco as their top weekly shop, like the Joneses.

Across the UK, the Joneses are shown to have a distinctive lifestyle. In fact, they’re more likely to choose certain lifestyle approaches than their contemporaries with different surnames. For example, while just 8% of the wider country claim to drink prosecco in bars and pubs, nearly double (14%) those named Jones say the same. Furthermore, Joneses are more likely to listen to rock music (23% vs 17%), practise yoga (11% vs 6%), wear cashmere clothes (18% vs 14%) and play team sports (15% vs 10%).

But the biggest difference between the two groups was the fact that Joneses are more keen on ultra low emission motoring.

Popular DJ and electric car owner, Tony Blackburn said: “This research highlights that ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ isn’t just a catchy media slogan, it actually rings true: people with the surname Jones very much have their finger on the pulse. I’ve had a plug-in car for over three years and with the range of options now available I can see why they are becoming more and more popular with people of all surnames. A sales increase of 317% last year is quite phenomenal.”

Hetal Shah, Head of Go Ultra Low, added: “One thing which has really topped the aspiration list is an electric car – with many families in the South West telling us they would consider buying one. There is now a whole host of electric vehicles available to suit any lifestyle, from city run-arounds and family hatchbacks to 4x4s and sports cars.  Research shows that electric cars rank very highly for customer satisfaction so we know that people who buy one – Jones or otherwise – are delighted with their choice.”

Go Ultra Low exists to increase purchase consideration of ultra low emission vehicles by helping motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the wide range of ultra low emission vehicles on the market.

The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of leading car manufacturers: Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, and Volkswagen, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the government. Find out more at