There was a 2.4% decline in the number of new cars registered in the UK in 2019 compared to the previous year, according to BBC News.
Just 2.31 million vehicles were registered last year, and registrations are expected to fall by a further 2.1% in 2020. But why are car sales in Britain dropping so dramatically?
No more diesel
Two years ago, diesel-powered car sales accounted for 50% of the market. But following calls to ban diesel vehicles by 2030, the increased tax put on them, and urban emission charges, they now make up just 23.6% of the market, and this number continues to drop. Motorists are arguably confused and uncertain by the stipulations that the government will impose next, so instead of rushing out to buy new vehicles, they are holding onto their current motors for longer than they previously would have.
The main reason behind the government’s decision to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles is that they want more electric vehicles on the road. Last year, electric vehicle sales increased by 144%, which indicates that motorists shopping for a new vehicle are considering the right type. However, research shows that up to 89% of British drivers don’t fully understand the benefits of owning an electric vehicle. With this in mind, when comparing different vehicle types, drivers should consider multiple expert reviews. In addition to checking for things such as driving experience, quality and reliability, they should also look into battery life and charging costs.
Prices are rising
Being a vehicle owner in the UK is an expensive business. In the last 10 years, the cost of purchasing a new vehicle has risen by 38% to around £34,000. Meanwhile, monthly running costs come in at £162. In comparison, the average cost of a used car is just shy of £13,000. As more and more dealers are offering substantial warranties on their used cars, and 17 million people are expecting to be financially worse off after Brexit, it makes more sense for them to save money by investing in a used car rather than a new one.
New car sales are dropping at an alarming rate, and there don’t appear to be any signs that this trend will let up over the coming 12 months. Due to so much consumer uncertainty and the nation wanting to tighten their purse strings, holding onto their existing cars and buying used vehicles is a much more favourable option right now.