New Car Prices To Rise By Almost £3,000 With Hard Brexit

Tue 24th Nov 2020

Motoring industry leaders are warning that the true cost of a no-deal Brexit will be felt by both consumers and traders and that the final bill could be £55.4bn over five years.

The stark message was made this week at the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders Update Live event, where the country’s politicians were given the honest facts on what World Trade Organisation rules would mean for the industry. And in a double-barrelled shot across the bows, the SMMT has also warned that a no-deal Brexit could also put the brakes on plans to get manufacturers to convert to EV production.

“We need a future trading relationship that works for automotive. We’ve already spent nigh on a billion pounds preparing for the unknown of Brexit and lost 28 times that to Covid. Let us not also be left counting the cost of tariffs, especially not by accident,” said SMMT president George Gillespie.

“Industry can deliver the jobs growth we need and help rebuild a devastated economy, but government must work with us to create the environment for this success. That starts with a favourable Brexit deal and a bold strategy to help transform automotive production in the UK, attract new investment, upskill our workforce and build world-leading battery capability to future-proof our manufacturing. When Covid lifts, we need to be ready; ready to support government to engineer an economic – and green – recovery.”

The trade organisation’s own research has estimated that the price of a UK-built EV would rise by £2,000 on average under WTO tariffs and imported car prices could rise even higher, to £2,800.

“To complete the job in under a decade is no easy task. And with showrooms closed, choking factories of orders, the ability of the sector to invest further is severely constrained,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.