Dealers call for more buyer advice on car choices

Could you do with a bit more information on which car would suit your needs?

If you’re looking to buy a new car, you’ll know that one of the biggest things to consider is which fuel type is right for you.

Gone are the days when motorists had a simple choice between petrol or diesel — these days there’s electric, hybrid and even bio-fuel options to think about.

To help drivers out, one motoring expert is calling on the government to offer more advice to car buyers on which fuel type is best suited to their needs.

Stephen Latham, Head of Operations at the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), says that while some would ignore official advice, others would “relish” clearer guidance.

Puzzling demonisation of diesel

In an interview with Auto Express, Mr Latham said recent government ‘demonisation’ of diesel engines has left motorists puzzled.

In April 2018, diesel vehicles were moved up a band in vehicle excise duty which saw some owners slapped with an increase in car tax from £15 to £500, depending on their vehicle.

This tax increase, coupled with stories in the media regarding diesel’s impact on the environment, has left some drivers confused about what to choose, and Mr Latham argues there has been “no further guidance” from the Treasury.

‘Retrograde step’

Mr Latham also called the government’s recent decision to reduce the grants available for electric cars, while scrapping them entirely for hybrid vehicles, a “retrograde step.”

He said hybrids are a vital “first step on the way to having a clean, green car” and said any funds removed from hybrid grants should be used to increase grants for full-electric vehicles.

In 2017, the government announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK will be banned from 2040 onwards, with all fossil-fuel powered vehicles off the roads entirely by 2050.

However, some campaign groups, including MPs, have called on the ban to be brought forward to 2032 to help the UK tackle rising levels of air pollution.

Looking to get a new set of wheels but aren’t sure whether to go for a secondhand or brand spanking new motor, why not check out our guide to buying a car: New V Old, and see if this can help solve your dilemma.