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How the 2035 ban on new petrol and diesel sales will affect you

No new petrol or diesel cars will be sold in the UK from 2035 – but what does this mean for motorists?

The government has finally concluded that no new petrol or diesel cars will be sold in the UK from 2035, while plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) cars using a petrol or diesel engine are expected to be banned at a later date.

Whether you’re in favour of the ban or not, the aim is undoubtedly ambitious, so does that mean that we’re all going to be forced to drive electric cars by 2035? 

The simple answer is no.

The government wants us all to switch to electric vehicles (EVs), in order for it to hit its 2050 climate targets, but with over 38m vehicles on Britain’s roads, that isn’t going to happen overnight.

To start with, only about 2m cars are scrapped a year, so it will take 17 years just to get rid of most of the cars (people will want to keep hold of their classics) that we drive now. Even if we did get rid of them all, it will take until 2037.

And, of course, over the next 10 years, with around 20-23m new cars set to be sold in the UK, even if the number of EVs increases hugely, there will still be petrol and diesel cars among them, right up until 31 December 2029 (assuming the ban starts on 1 January 2030). As cinch sells cars that are up to seven years old, that means we’ll have petrol and diesel cars on our site for you to buy until 2036.

The most important thing to do now, with 10 years to go until the ban, is to keep an open mind on electric motoring. Yes, there are concerns about the range – dubbed ‘range anxiety’ – of electric cars, but as more models are launched, 250-300 miles is becoming normal. British drivers cover 142 miles per week, on average, so EVs really are practical for most drivers. 

The price of EVs will fall, too, as the cost of batteries – the most expensive component of an electric car – falls. By 2025, EVs should be no more expensive than a petrol or diesel car.

It’s also worth remembering that the government gives EV buyers a grant of £3,000 and that the total cost of ownership (the purchase price and all the running costs of a vehicle) means an EV is £132 a month cheaper to run than a petrol or diesel car.

But even if you’re not an EV fan, you don’t need to panic. There will be no Cinderella moment that sees your petrol or diesel car turn into a pumpkin as 2035 arrives. It will still be legal to drive on the road.

And if you want another, cinch will be stocking petrol and diesel cars long after 2035 has come and gone.

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