The change is part of the UK's plan to tackle climate change and create new jobs in new industries such as nuclear energy.
Previously, it was in 2035 that this new ruling would be introduced, but that has been brought forward by five years, giving just 10 years to start to implement.
But what does this mean for you? What are the positives and negatives? Here we lay out everything you need to know to help you start thinking about how you may want to lease or buy your next car in the future.
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Can I buy a new petrol or diesel car before 2030?
The new plan isn’t set to be introduced until 2030 so even if you bought a new petrol or diesel car on December 31, 2029, you would not be breaking any rules.
What happened to 2035?
There is still a target to be met by 2035 and that is that all new cars and vans will be fully ‘zero-emission at the tailpipe’. This means that from January 1, 2030, you will only be able to buy a new car if it’s electric, or in some cases, a hybrid. However, you will still be able to buy a used car that is petrol and diesel ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) - it’s only new cars that follow the new rule at this stage.
Why is this rule coming in?
Climate change has been ravaging the planet for many years now, with little to no end in sight. The country wants to start building a greener place to live and one of the simple ways to tackle this is by cleaning up the roads.
Should I start making the transition to electric now?
It’s entirely up to you. You will still be allowed to own an ICE car after 2030, but just not have the option to buy a new one. We probably won’t see a significant change on the roads until 2035 and beyond anyway as people aren’t going to trade their ICE car in for an electric car right away. Car manufacturers will be frantically creating brand-new electric cars right now so your options in 10 years' time should be huge compared to now. So there’s absolutely no rush, you want to take your time and choose what is right for you.
What cars should I be looking at now if I wanted to change?
The number of electric cars available is growing every month and soon we will start seeing even more hitting our roads. The least polluting vehicles are all-electric cars known as BEVs (Battery electric vehicles). These only run on batteries and do not have internal combustion engines, making them much cleaner for the environment.
How would I charge my electric car?
There are more than 35,000 public charging points in the UK, many of which can be found at your local supermarket or public car parks. Of course, the question will be ‘how can I charge my car at home?’. Well, there are simple options to install a special charging point at or near your home, making it simple to recharge. With the new rules coming in, tens of thousands more will start to become available very soon, so you will have no problems keeping it topped up.
How long do the car batteries last before they need replacing?
It can vary, but most electric cars do tend to have a battery life of five to eight years. If you are on a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) finance deal, you will typically return your car after two to four years anyway and replace it with a brand-new car, so you should never have any concerns about that. If you wished to pay your balloon payment at the end of your finance deal to own the car outright, there will likely be a long warranty on the battery so you can replace it if and when it dies.
I like my petrol car and don’t want to give it up
Unfortunately, this is government legislation and will be a requirement in 2030 and beyond when buying a new car. But don’t worry, the number of electric cars available now are excellent quality and in 10 years' time, there will be an even bigger array of options available to you. Electric cars are not as boring as they seem. Depending on what you buy, they can accelerate quicker than an ICE car and are also much smoother and slicker. It will come naturally to you when you do finally have to give up your petrol and diesel cars.
Is there anything more I need to know?
The shift from ICE to electric will provide lots of new jobs, which will be critical as and when we start to move on from the coronavirus pandemic. It’s estimated that bringing this rule into 2030 from 2035 could create an extra 40,000 jobs, particularly in manufacturing heartlands such as the northeast and the midlands, two areas of the UK hit hardest by COVID-19. Not only that, but the emissions reductions from this change would be the equivalent of taking more than four million cars off of the road.
The change will be fairly drastic but the benefits far outweigh the negatives as we look to move on from 2020 and create a greener environment for us all to live in.