The future of your daily workplace commute is changing

Car on road
Piers Bambridge By Piers Bambridge, Director, Pike+Bambridge

5 September 2018

Your workplace commute looks set for a massive change as British companies follow the government's plans to alter our approach to car driving.

Britain's most successful car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover recently announced they are following Volvo in their mission to produce only electric or hybrid cars by 2020 - signalling the end of petrol and diesel-only cars.

The plan comes after the Scottish government said it would phase out the need for petrol and diesel cars by 2032, eight years earlier than the rest of the UK.

This has heightened the sense that the sector is primed for a major acceleration in electric and hybrid proliferation over the short to medium term.

But what does this really mean for car drivers?

There are far-reaching impacts on the car you buy or lease in the future, leading up to what might be the death knell for combustion-engine car in 2040. Especially as the hybrid and electric vehicle market made up less than 2% of the UK’s total new vehicle registrations a mere two years ago.

Here are three key considerations Pike+Bambridge would recommend you think about before changing your vehicle:

1. Are you protecting yourself from future changes?

Average used vehicle values have dipped in 2017 by as much as 18%, in part due to a problem of over-supply as the UK public increasingly takes advantage of low interest rates and subsequent cheap leasing offers.

This may be just the beginning. There are now major question marks over the governments tax plans for diesel and petrol vehicles, as well as ‘low-emission zones’ mooted for several major cities.

There is also the element of a new ‘cool’ brand entering the mass-market, with Tesla launching its first Model 3 in 2018. We only need to look at the impact of Apple’s iPhone on companies such as Nokia to see the potential for major disruption in the high-volume, mid-priced car market.

All of this suggests the traditional method of purchasing a car outright has new risks attached. That being said, which of the myriad of other options should individuals and businesses select? The answer perhaps lies with engaging with independent expertise, whether that be through online research, or a firm such as Pike+Bambridge whose mission is to help change the way the world buys cars, with an advocate by your side throughout the increasingly complex process.

2. Low-emission vehicles - have you maximised government assistance?

The UK government continues to support electric vehicles through various tax measures, with both lower company car tax costs for such vehicles, as well as continued support through write down allowances for purchasing new low-emission vehicles for businesses.

In Scotland, this is combined with the Energy Saving Trust’s support of up to £35,000 interest free loan for a low emission vehicle for businesses looking to improve their carbon footprint.

There are also grants for businesses to help with the cost of installing charging points at commercial premises.

3. Is a low-emission car practical for you?

Whilst much of the above is attractive, there are still a number of factors that can make switching to low-emission or electric vehicles untenable in the current environment.

You should consider whether you have space/budget for charging stations at home and at work as this certainly makes a big difference.

If you do a high annual mileage, it is likely that, for now at least, the diesel engine cars remain your best option. Hybrid cars do not return anything like the published figures for high mileage uses, and the charging infrastructure for fully electric cars is simply not available in terms of the ‘fast charging’ units.

All in all, the next five years represent an unprecedented shift in not only the manner in which we acquire our cars, but more fundamentally, the shift to an entirely new technology, for the first time since the advent of cars over a century ago. This represents both risks and opportunities, and we advise individuals and businesses alike to engage with independent experts before making their next vehicle acquisition.

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About: Pike+Bambridge

At Pike+Bambridge we are passionate about our purpose; to change the way people and small businesses buy and lease cars. We have a commitment to a better car-buying experience and our growing team of experts continue to offer a personal service, as standard.

This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.


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