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Banning petrol and diesel cars by 2032 “too soon”, complain dealers

Research conducted by Close Brothers Motor Finance showed that two thirds (66%) of car dealers believe that Government proposals to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2032 is too early.

The qualitative survey was taken by over 200 dealers, who expressed concerns over the confusion the government will bring to an already uncertain market. The idea of a petrol and diesel ban was originally touted by The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee back in October. Research results found that a large majority (86%) believed the ban would cause confusion to those in the market, with 59% believing that it would make car buyers more reluctant to purchasing a vehicle and also believing the ban would have a negative impact on their business.

Dealers open to the shift to alternative fuel vehicles

On the other hand, the results also showed that some dealers are more open to the shift to alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). Over a third of dealers (36%) said the ban would not cause many differences to their business as more consumers were turning to AFVs as it was. Further to this, 24% said they were already stocking AFVs in their showrooms, while an additional 37% were open to stocking AFVs in the near future. Fuelled by demand, 20% of dealers said their customers had conveyed 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.” He added, “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.”

Dealers’ responses to the 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’ feelings 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


Source: Close Brothers Motor Finance