Brexit is now considered as a global slowdown and the confusion over fuel type have caused 2.4 million drivers to think twice about getting a new car.
The latest quarterly Britain Under the Bonnet report that was released by Close Brothers Motor Finance discovered that the number of drivers who plan on buying a used car in the past year has dramatically risen, while those who are planning to buy new ones have declined.
Nearly half (49 percent) of drivers said that they would opt for a used car next – up from a 41 percert a year ago; while 34 percent were considering a new car – a decline of 8 percent.
The report looks at the attitudes and car buying behaviours of consumers, along with views from dealerships across the nation, to present a comprehensive view of the motor industry of the United Kingdom for the year.
Brexit was considered as a key factor that had dampened the demand with nearly half (48 percent) of respondents saying that Brexit has negatively affected their plans to purchase a car in the next three years. A third of these drivers said that they are more likely to get a used car or delay buying a car as a consequence.
Unsurprisingly, the report discovered that Brexit was now considered as a threat for half of the car dealers. This is just less than double that of six months ago when the figure was only at 26 percent.
Uncertainty regarding fuel type was considered as another factor. Nearly one in five (18 percent) drivers said that they would not buy a car this year since they are confused about fuel type. A quarter of diesel drivers (24 percent) said that they were put off since they are not sure about what the costs will be to own a diesel car in the future.
Despite the challenges, the vast majority of car dealers (93 percent) said that they are confident about business prospects in the year ahead. Two-thirds (68 percent) could point to specific opportunities for their business in the coming months.
One in five (19 percent) said that they had experienced an increasing demand for particular models. This is up from the 6 percent that was recorded the previous quarter.
Just 4 percent of dealers said that they had concerns regarding an economic downturn (down from the 14 percent six months previously), thus suggesting a positive outlook for the future beyond Brexit.
The chief executive officer at Close Brothers Motor Finance, Rebecca McNeil, stated: “The motor industry is a cornerstone of the British economy, and in these unprecedented economic times it is no surprise to see the industry experiencing a number of challenges. All eyes are on Westminster as we wait in hope of a satisfactory resolution to the ongoing uncertainty.”
She added: “However, out of this period of change, rather than just treading water, a huge proportion of dealers are spotting opportunities and capitalising on them. We’re seeing a number of dealers responding to the increased demand for used vehicles, while others are embracing the trends towards alternative fuel vehicles.”
She concluded: “Overall, the vast majority of dealers feel confident, and can see the possibilities that exist beyond Brexit.”