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Used car buyers will hang on to ICE vehicles for longer after 2030 ban delay – research

  • Latest Startline Used Car Tracker finds many car dealers think people will stick with ICE cars for longer
  • 29% of dealers polled say shift to 2035 means used EV market will take longer to develop
  • But 24% of dealers believe delay’s effect will be limited as many car makers are committed to 2030 date

Time 10:12 am, November 28, 2023

Used car buyers are going to stick with petrol and diesel engines for longer after the decision to delay the 2030 ban to 2035.

That’s according to 44% of 59 used car dealers and 303 consumers who were polled for Startline Motor Finance’s November Used Car Tracker.

The research also showed that 29% of them believe the move means the used EV market will take longer to develop, while almost a fifth – 19% – forecast that consumer demand for EVs will FALL.

Additionally, nearly a quarter of the used car dealers quizzed – 24% – now believe it’s 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.

Startline CEO Paul Burgess said: ‘Our research shows that almost half of dealers think that Rishi Sunak’s decision to push new car electrification 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 hybrids.’

However, its research also showed that 24% of used car dealers believe the 2035 decision will have a limited effect on the rate of used EV electrification, since car manufacturers are already committed to the original 2030 date.

Burgess added: ‘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.

‘This is 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 the 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.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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