Thanks to its seemingly constantly moving goalposts, you could be forgiven for losing track of the biggest political event of a generation: Brexit.
It’s finally here, though. On January 31st, 2020, the UK government will trigger the withdrawal agreement that will see Britain leave the EU. That’s assuming something doesn’t scupper the whole thing between now and then, that is.
Should I be panicking?
Don’t go expecting the economic world to go haywire and the sky to turn pink on February 1st, though, this is just the start of a long divorce process, but what could it mean for the motoring industry?
At a time when cars seem to be under attack from all sides and the general public are largely uncertain of the best way forwards, the last thing the automotive world possibly needs is more scrutiny. Is it all bad news, though?
Increasing costs for motorists
Motorists have been hit hard in the pocket for much of the recent past. A report by Vantage Leasing points out that costs have soared since the Brexit vote in 2016, and that’s before we even leave the EU. The combination of an unsure future and a weakening pound have brought about the following:
- Average cost of a new car up 12.3% e.g. Vauxhall Corsa 1.4 Design has risen from £12,480 in November 2016 to £14,025 in June 2019
- Average car insurance cover up from £737 in Q3 2016 to £786 in Q3 2019; a 6.2% increase
- Cost of vehicle maintenance and repairs up 9.2%
- Despite fluctuations, unleaded petrol up 9.2%, diesel up 11.1%, super unleaded up 11.6%
- Average vehicle ownership costs up 9.3% overall
James Buttrick, Marketing Manager of Vantage Leasing said the following:
“Since the Brexit referendum was held three and a half years ago, there has been a gradual but very tangible increase in the cost of running a car”
“With so much uncertainty around the details of the UK’s departure from the EU, the automotive industry has found itself one of the worst affected. It’s hard to see that getting any better for the industry or the motoring consumer as we finally head towards Brexit”
Home costs have also risen
It’s not just the motoring world that’s been hit, though – the cost of running a home is on the up, too. Despite a recent dip, the cost of gas, electricity and other fuels we use in our homes has risen 14.1% since the leave vote in July 2016.
Is there ANY good news?!?
Well, yes. For one, you should have a bit more in your pay-packet as wages have risen above the rate of inflation. According to the Office for National Statistics, wages have seen a growth rate increase from 2.5% in July 2016 to 3.6% in September 2019. The rate of inflation rose from 0.9% to 1.5% over the same period.
Used cars are getting cheaper, too. Data suggests that the average second-hand car would cost you 4.4% less in October 2019 than it would have in July 2016.
What the future holds for Britain is uncertain, and the critical 12 months after January 31st 2020 could surprise us all. If the last three and a half years are anything to go by, though, owning a car could get even more expensive than it already is.