As the Government’s 2030 petrol and diesel ban looms, 85% of dealers don’t believe the ban will go ahead as planned, according to the latest Forecourt Foresight research from Close Brothers Motor Finance.

The study, which looked at dealer’s views of the current landscape, found that two-thirds (66%) of dealers believe the ban – which will see the sales of new petrol and diesel only vehicles banned, while hybrids can only be sold for a further five years – will be delayed. And a further one in five (18%) think it will be scrapped altogether.

Despite the looming ban, more than half (54%) of used dealers don’t currently stock alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs), which covers cars that may be pure electric or may be some kind of hybrid system. And just 1% of car dealers plan to invest in AFV charging points in the next six months.

SMMT figures are showing an increase in the number of AFV new registrations, but the research findings suggest that dealers are not yet seeing the same level of growth in customer demand. Of the 41% who do sell AFVs, just 14% say they’re selling more AFVs compared with a year ago, 54% say they’re selling about the same, and 32% say they’re selling fewer.

Lisa Watson, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “We know that consumers have mixed emotions about the switch to electric; with only one in ten saying they are planning a pure electric car as their next purchase in recent research. Dealers are joining them in their belief that change will not happen fast enough to meet the current plan to ban the sale of all new solely petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK in 2030.

“There are still major perception barriers to overcome. Given the current economic climate and financial pressures faced by many UK households, the initial outlay costs are prohibiting more widespread EV adoption in the UK. Costs combined with the lack of infrastructure is impacting consumer demand, which in turn impacts the stock that dealers are selling on their forecourts.”