The motoring industry has been feeling the heat from the UK government since the PM first announced the zero-emissions goal set for 2040 back in 2017. Step forward a year, and the Business, Energy and Industrial Committee stuck their heels in and announced that the plan was “vague and ambitious.”
Enter the “Green Industrial Revolution.” A ten-point plan to transform the UK’s roads, energy consumption and low carbon economy sector. Most notably, the ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and more surprisingly, new hybrid sales outlawed from 2035.
So what does it all mean? Here are 10 things you need to know about the upcoming ban in 2030:
It all comes down to emissions
Air quality throughout the UK has to reach specific criteria. With some of the country’s biggest cities such as London, Liverpool and Birmingham exceeding the legal limits of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the issue needed to be addressed quickly.
What’s more concerning is that the NOx and particular matter (PM) produced by diesel-fueled vehicles has been linked to suppressing lung development, increasing the risk of respiratory illnesses and more. Left to continue, the UK’s most vulnerable people would be left exposed to life-threatening diseases and reduced life expectancy.
The simplest way to cut emissions is to switch to lower or zero-emission vehicles. With no exhaust, electric vehicles (EVs) are the best choice. They have cleaner manufacturing and recharge using the energy produced while driving or renewable sources such as solar and wind.
Why have hybrids have been given the chop?
In a bid to stomp out high emissions, hybrids had to be given the chop. Although they come in a number of forms, hybrids combine an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine for the best efficiency.
On average, Plug-in hybrids can reach up to 50 miles on electricity before switching over to fuel. So unless your chosen hybrid can “drive a significant distance without emitting carbon,” it will no longer be available in showrooms post-2035.
Can I still drive my petrol or diesel car in 2030?
The ban only affects the sales of new petrol or diesel cars. So if you have your heart set on a combustion engine for life, then there is nothing stopping you (currently!) from driving around in your favourite motor.
The government haven’t ruled out buying second-hand vehicles after 2030 either, so that market still remains untouched.
What are low emissions zones?
After the success of London’s world-leading Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) launched in 2019, air quality has improved significantly throughout Greater London and beyond. Deemed as the government’s launchpad for low emission zones, other major cities throughout the UK such as Liverpool, Oxford and Edinburgh have since launched Clean Air Zones (CAZ).
Within these zones, vehicles need to meet strict emissions criteria to avoid paying a daily charge to travel within the area. Currently, diesel’s with Euro 6 status and petrol cars with Euro 5 status or newer are exempt from penalties. But this is about to get much tighter as we approach the 2030 deadline.
You can expect to pay a minimum of £8 a day for CAZ or £12 a day for ULEZ if you drive a non-emission friendly vehicle. It certainly makes switching to an EV more worthwhile!
Are trucks, vans and other commercial vehicles part of the ban?
Yes. Unless your new commercial vehicle produces zero emissions, it will no longer be available from the showroom floor in 2030. Diesel lorries are also due to be phased out and will continue to face any emissions-related penalties along the way.
How does the ban affect car finance?
For most people, car financing is the most affordable way to buy a new car. Fortunately, the new sales of petrol and diesel vehicles ban won’t affect your car financing options. If anything, it will open up a much broader selection of vehicles from the high flying Tesla to the newest VW that hasn’t been available before.
Plus, any agreements in your current finance package, including any guaranteed minimum future value (GMFV), will be protected.
With the Plug-in Grant scheme still in effect, there’s never been a better time to make the switch. What’s more, regardless of your personable circumstances, various bad credit car finance deals are available for those who struggle to get accepted for finance.
Will my petrol or diesel car lose its resale value?
As the demand for traditional combustion engine vehicles declines, resale values are expected to take a significant hit. With more and more incentives and discounts attached to new low-emission cars, it’s no surprise. It may be worth cutting your losses now to futureproof your next motor purchase.
Is time running out for classic cars?
Currently, there are no plans to outlaw or force classic cars powered by traditional petrol or diesel combustion engines off the road. With over half a million historic vehicles on UK roads, this is not likely to change any time soon!
Will I have to scrap my car by 2030?
No. The most significant point of the ban is that you will no longer be able to buy a new petrol or diesel vehicle. If you still own a traditional combustion engine car when the ban comes into effect in 2030, it will still be legal to own and drive it on UK roads.
Typically, the average lifespan of a car is 14 years. So if you purchase one in 2029 ahead of the ban, you could be driving it until at least 2044 with no legal expectations placed on you to make the switch to a zero-emission vehicle.
Can I convert my current petrol or diesel car to pure electric?
Yes, you can, but it’s not cheap. You would need an engineer to switch out the combustion engine for an electric motor, and that’s all before they remove the transmission and fuel tank for a battery and other related components. All that will cost you anything between £20,000 to £60,000, so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
Modified cars can rack up an even bigger bill outside of the workshop, as insurers tend to charge more for the simplest of changes. In this instance, upgrading your vehicle would be the most cost-effective choice.
The countdown to the 2030 ban is well on its way. Are you ready for the next chapter in your driving journey?