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Banning petrol and diesel cars by 2032 too soon, say UK dealers

Two-thirds (66%) of car dealers believe the Government’s plans to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2032 is too early.

The qualitative survey of more than 200 dealers nationwide found that the vast majority (86%) believed the ban would cause another layer of confusion to the market, with 59% believing it would make car buyers more reluctant to purchase a vehicle.

At a time when dealers are already dealing with the confusion surrounding fuel types as a result of policy change, the Government’s most recent announcement adds another layer of complexity.

The research found that 59% believed that the ban would have a negative impact on their business. With this, 39% of dealers said they currently had no plans to stock alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) any time soon, instead solely relying on petrol and diesel cars.

By contrast however, the results showed that a significant group was embracing the shift. More than a third of dealers (36%) said the ban would not make much of a difference as more consumers were turning to AFVs as it was.

Alongside this, a quarter (24%) said they were already stocking AFVs in their showrooms, while an additional 37% were considering stocking AFVs in the near future.

Fuelled by demand, 20% of dealers said their customers had expressed an interest in purchasing an AFV.

Sean Kemple, director of sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said:

“Britain’s dealers are already coping with a range of issues – from Brexit, confusion over fuel types, not to mention a global slowdown. This latest announcement will add to the already considerable pressure that they are under, particularly those who deal with new cars. 

“There’s no doubt that developments in technology mean that we are already on the verge of cars with an acceptable range for most drivers. This will only improve in the years to come. So, in theory at least, the cars themselves will be ready for the Government’s proposed date.

“What is less certain is the infrastructure available to support, customer confusion, and cost to entry.

“The research shows that out of this confusion, many dealers are seizing the opportunities where they see them.

“A quarter have already predicted the change of wind towards alternative fuel vehicles, with another third weighing up the options.

“It is up to Government to listen to and work with the industry to ensure that no one is left behind.”

Dealers’ attitudes toward Government's announcement to ban petrol and diesel cars as early as 2032

There aren't enough alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) to replace petrol and diesel cars


The ban will cause confusion


The ban will be too early


The ban will have a negative impact on my business


The ban will make people more reluctant to buy cars


The ban won't make much of a difference as more consumers are turning to alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) anyway


I've already invested in selling alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) to combat the ban


The ban will have a positive impact on my business


None of these


Dealers’ attitudes towards alternatively fuelled vehicles

I'm not currently stocking this type of vehicle


Customers are interested in electric vehicles, but there are concerns over the number of charging points


I have seen an increase in sales of AFVs


More customers have expressed an interest in AFVs, but I haven't seen sales increase


I have sourced more AFVs for my showroom on the assumption that demand will increase


I have seen no change in the attitude towards AFVs


I've seen AFV sales go down


None of these


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