Used electric cars ‘too expensive’ compared to petrol and diesel

GB News guests debate using electric cars

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The high price of electric vehicles is the number one worry for dealers when it comes to the electrification of the used car market. Almost six in 10 dealers say EVs are too expensive compared to petrol and diesel cars. One-quarter of UK dealers are concerned by their lack of onsite charging facilities, with one in five simply saying motorists aren’t ready to accept electric vehicles. A further 15 percent stated that their sales team is not trained to sell them.

When asked what would help them adapt to electrification, 61 percent of dealers wanted generally cheaper EVs while 38 percent said that longer range vehicles would be an advantage and 28 percent that a greater choice of electric models was needed.

The research also revealed that one in five are supportive of proposals for the Government to extend the proposed 2030 ban on sales of new internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.

Many mechanics have spoken of the need for greater education to help the sector adapt to the influx of electric vehicles on the market and how to deal with them. Similarly, 13 percent would like to see training programmes for sales staff.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “The recent announcement by Ford that Fiesta production would be ending soon felt like a watershed moment in mainstream car manufacturers moving towards electrification. 

“The question is, what low-cost EVs are forthcoming that will replace much-loved, everyday cars like the Fiesta?”

In October, Ford confirmed it would end production of the iconic Fiesta model in 2023, after 47 years of manufacturing. It is Britain’s most-owned car and one of the most desirable models for new drivers.

Ford said it was looking at the future, and focused on electric vehicles and meeting the demand for its SUV models. It was a consistent global favourite thanks to its cost efficiency, compact size and easy handling.

Currently, the annual maintenance cost of a Fiesta is roughly £492, compared to £580 for the average vehicle. Being Britain’s best-selling car for so long, there are a lot of parts available and in circulation.

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But further down the line, Fiesta spare parts may become harder to find and therefore more expensive after production has ceased. If drivers are looking for a used Fiesta, the newer the car the more chance they have of sourcing parts easily in the future, according to Veygo.

It has been estimated that the number of Fiesta’s on UK roads will begin to slow down towards the end of the decade, with many still wondering whether an EV competitor will emerge to take the place of the much loved Ford.

Mr Burgess added: “Dealers are clearly worried about the affordability of EVs, the suitability of their current premises to retail them, the ability of their sales staff to sell them and the appetite of lenders to finance them. 

“With eight years to go until the 2030 production deadline, it feels as though the motor industry still has much to do to help dealers make the EV transition.

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“Especially, it seems to us, more effort needs to be put into showing consumers that the overall running costs of used EVs are generally very much comparable with familiar petrol and diesel cars, even if the upfront purchase price is higher. This seems like a crucial point when it comes to creating market acceptance.”

New data from AutoTrader shows the average price of a used electric vehicle has dropped from £39,166 in October to £38,021 in November  – a fall of £1,145. This is a result of a number of factors, not least the significant increase in the levels of supply in the market.

Electric car drivers were dealt a major blow this month when Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that EVs would have to start paying vehicle excise duty (VED) from 2025.

Under the plans laid out, electric cars registered from April 2025 will pay the lowest rate of £10 in the first year, then move to the standard rate which is currently £165. The standard car tax rate will also apply to EVs first registered after April 2017.

Mr Hunt said this was being done to create a “fairer” system of motoring tax. Industry experts criticised the move, saying it would dampen EV sales and cause motorists to think twice about choosing an electric vehicle.

Company car tax rates will also remain lower, with Jeremy Hunt saying he had listened to industry bodies to limit rate increases to one percentage point a year for three years from 2025.

The Treasury added: “The shift to electric vehicles is continuing at pace as the UK moves to net zero. Therefore from 2025, road tax will be introduced for EVs so all motorists begin to pay a fair share.  Support for charging infrastructure is continuing.”

The running costs have often been highlighted as one of the major selling points of an EV, with lower costs when charging compared to petrol and diesel prices.

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