Close Brothers Motor Finance’s Dealer Satisfaction Survey has found that two-thirds (66%) of car dealers believe the Government’s plans to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2032 will be 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 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. Over 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 and 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.
Commenting on the findings, 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.”