According to research conducted by BuyaCar, almost half of Britain’s new car buyers are delaying the purchase of their next vehicle for two years or more, with Brexit cited as the primary reason for the delay by more motorists than at any time since the 2016 referendum.
In the aftermath of the historic EU referendum, one in five motorists said they expected to change their car within the next three months, with just 27.7 percent saying they would wait two years or more.
Today, just 4.8 percent said they expected to buy a new car in the next three months, with 47.5 percent claiming they’re planning to hold on to their existing car for at least the next two years.
Earlier this year, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), warned: “With fewer than 60 days before we leave the EU and the risk of crashing out without a deal looking increasingly real, UK Automotive is on red alert.
“Brexit uncertainty has already done enormous damage to output, investment and jobs.”
Erring on the side of caution
Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: “Even as we announce these figures it’s against the backdrop of another series of Parliamentary votes that seem to take us no further forward in understanding how Brexit will affect everybody.
“We believe it is this continued uncertainty rather than the idea of Brexit itself that has finally made consumers err on the side of caution about their immediate plans to change cars.
“When we first began measuring consumer sentiment in relation to Brexit it was clear that the vast majority of car buyers weren’t worried and that was reflected in the large number who were intending to start shopping for a car in the next few months.
“The way that figure has plummeted from 20 percent to less than five per cent, as people wait to understand what Brexit looks like, comes as little surprise.
“Against a wider backdrop of industry concern over future tariffs, supply chains and other issues affecting car manufacture and retail, the news that consumers are suddenly wary about committing to their next car purchase can only add to those headaches.”