More than four out of 10 dealers (44%) think used car buyers will stick with petrol and diesel cars for longer following the government’s decision to delay the new car electrification deadline to 2035.

Startline’s November Used Car Tracker also shows that 29% believe the move will mean the used electric vehicle (EV) market will take longer to develop while 19% forecast that consumer demand for EVs will fall.

Additionally, 24% of dealers now believe it is more likely that motorists will buy a hybrid as a stepping stone to full electrification while 20% believe that EV prices will fall further in addition to recent reductions.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “Our research shows that almost half of dealers think that Rishi Sunak’s decision to push new car electrication back to 2035 will have a direct impact on the used market, reducing demand for EVs as consumers choose to take longer to make the switch away from petrol and diesel.

“Sizeable numbers also think the speed of the development of the used EV market will be affected, as well as EV values and prices as consumer demand drops away. If these dealers are right, it’s a pretty disappointing scenario for the EV sector with almost the only positive point being a potential increase in interest for hybids.”

However, Startline’s research also shows that a sizeable minority of dealers (24%) believe that the 2035 decision will have limited impact on the rate of used EV electrification because motor manufacturers are already committed to the original 2030 date.

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Paul added: “There is a quite a lot of evidence to support this point of view. The main issue with the government’s 2035 move is that manufacturer plans to electrify over the course of the decade are already largely set in stone based on not just the UK’s previous 2030 deadline but also the EV mandate and a whole range of much bigger global production projections.

“It could be that the government announcement could have little effect because supply of EVs will continue to ramp up quickly while availability of petrol and diesel cars falls away at a similar rate. Also, there is the possibility that a Labour government is elected next year and reverses the move anyway.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research. This time, 303 consumers and 59 dealers were questioned.

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