Brexit uncertainty making drivers think twice about buying a new car
Uncertainty over Brexit is making British motorists more cautious about buying a new car, according to a new study.
Research by AA Cars found that an estimated 377,000 motorists "strongly agree" that the UK's impending exit from the European Union was making them think twice about buying a new car, and 7% of drivers are more likely to buy a used car than a new one since the EU referendum.
If this translates into lost sales of new cars, it could cost the new car market an estimated £6.5 billion over the next two years.
The AA-Populus poll surveyed 15,470 AA members about their car buying intentions in light of the EU referendum. It also found that around a quarter of motorists expect leaving the EU to push up the price of everyday driving costs, with 23% expecting new car prices to rise and 26% concerned about the increasing cost of fuel.
Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Cars, said: "It's impossible to predict exactly what Brexit will mean for the British motor industry, but it's already clear that the current climate of uncertainty is having a real impact on car buying intentions across the UK.
"With rising inflation likely to weaken consumer confidence, and a first Bank of England rate rise for many years now looking far less remote, many drivers across the UK have quietly started to pull back spending on big ticket items such as brand new cars.
It's hardly surprising their intentions towards buying second-hand have hardened as a result.
"Collectively Brexit fears could hit the British motor industry for six billion.
"The UK has done well in the short-term to solidify high-profile deals with certain manufacturers, but until we can truly clarify what international trade is going to look like in two years' time, the automotive industry is going to be at the whim of a growing number of social and economic headwinds."