Last week saw Prime Minister Rishi Sunak extend the proposed ban on buying used petrol and diesel cars until 2035 from the original timeframe of 2030. In a LinkedIn poll designed to gauge a consensus among independent used car dealers, V12 Vehicle Finance discovered that 46% anticipate the delay of the electrification of all new cars to have a positive effect on their dealership, with a further 13% believing it will have no effect at all. Below, V12 Vehicle Finance’s MD draws the following conclusions.

The Government’s pragmatism places purchasing power back in the hands of buyers and is a positive move for independent dealers, according to data we have on the EV market and our own research. While many buyers are already joining the EV revolution, it would be wrong to force consumers to consider significant outlay on a vehicle that is currently lacking the support of a fully developed infrastructure, especially at a time when many are feeling the effects of increased interest rates and a cost-of-living crisis.

The range of EVs, both new and used, available on the market has grown exponentially since 2019 and while we expect that to continue and drive prices down, costs are currently unfeasible for many.

Currently, the Government has no other option than to extend the timeline on the proposed ban, but doing so should buy the time to improve infrastructure and allow the market to mature in its own time.

The automotive industry shouldn’t view this as a backtrack on the long-term goal of fully electrifying the car market. Instead, we should encourage the full EV supply chain to embrace the extra time afforded to it and bolster the charging infrastructure, as well as drive the desirability of electric vehicles nationwide and ensure that relevant costs continue to fall, making ownership of an electric vehicle an appealing prospect rather than a forced commitment for both buyers and independent dealers.

Allowing the EV market, charging infrastructure and the accompanied introduction of clean air zones throughout the country to mature, will undoubtedly alleviate the concerns of many independent used car dealers shared around the initial 2030 deadline. The longer timeframe will enable a larger variety of used EVs to enter used car dealer stock, and higher demand to fulfil.

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At V12 Vehicle Finance, we’re aware of the worries many car dealers shared around the original proposed ban on petrol and diesel cars. We believe that the pushback should help to lay those short-term concerns to rest. We encourage used car dealers to continue stocking their forecourts with vehicles positioned to cater for all buyer preferences and budgets as the market continues to evolve.

Julian Hartley is the Managing Director at V12 Vehicle Finance

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