Petrol and diesel car ban is ‘bad for consumers’ as family costs could rise

Rishi Sunak faces backlash over step back from Net Zero promises

Rishi Sunak’s decision to delay the petrol and diesel car ban could be “bad for consumers” and families, according to experts.

The Prime Minister has pushed back on his pledge to introduce a 2030 ban on the sale of new combustion vehicles.

Instead, the Conservatives may opt to push the policy back to 2035 in a move which has frustrated manufacturers.

However, Ben Nelmes, spokesperson for New Automotive claims the plan could also affect ordinary motorists.

He told BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show: “I worry that stepping away from the target will not only be bad for business, we’ve had business making their views very clear today.

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“It would also be bad for consumers, electric cars can save the typical UK motorist between £300 and £400 per year in running costs. This is one of the few areas with net zero that actually saves people money.”

This morning, former Labour leader Ed Milliband claimed the policy would be a major blow to UK households.

He posted on X, formerly Twitter: “If the Government delays the petrol and diesel phase-out date to 2035 it will whack UP costs on British families.”

Mr Milliband was reading from a Climate Change Committee report published in 2020 which suggested a 2030 ban could bring “cost reduction benefits”.

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The report claimed that cumulative costs of passenger cars are likely to be “lower if the end of sales is brought forward to 2030 compared to a later date”.

The report even suggested that a 2030 ban could deliver “even larger cost savings” than if introduced in 2035.

However, others have suggested the move could be positive for consumers with the nation not ready to make the switch.

Chris Green, founder and CEO of Regit said infrastructure had never been good enough to encourage many motorists to switch.

He therefore stressed Mr Sunak’s news “made sense” for most drivers who were still concerned about costs.

He added: “Today’s news therefore doesn’t come as a huge surprise and although confidence of both manufacturers and motorists in any decision this Government makes will be damaged, the postponement at least makes sense for most consumers from a financial perspective as the costs associated of switching to electric were proving to be a huge barrier for many who were already grappling with high mortgage rates and rising bills.”

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