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No-deal Brexit: VW, Porsche, Skoda and Seat may raise prices by 10 percent

Brexit Volkswagen price increases

Volkswagen has announced its response to a hard Brexit and, unfortunately, customers will feel it first. For anyone who ordered for a new Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda or Porsche after 1 February, a 10 percent price increase could be on the cards.

Customers do, however, have the opportunity to terminate their order free of charge in response to the potential price hike.

No-deal car import tax

Brexit Volkswagen price increases

It’s all to do with delivery windows, the possibility (probability, now?) of a no-deal Brexit and tariffs on imported goods thereafter.

Volkswagen has therefore warned its customers that a 10 percent price increase could be levied on cars entering the UK after the split with the EU goes through.

This follows leaked news several days ago that Porsche would pass similar costs on to customers. We can now confirm the same also goes for fellow VW Group brands, Seat and Skoda.

As for Audi, a spokesperson has said that “Audi UK will price-protect all orders until further notice.”

“We strive to keep customers as informed as possible during the buying process,” said a Volkswagen UK representative.

Brexit Volkswagen price increases

“This includes being clear on any potential changes outside of our control that may affect the price of the car they’re interested in purchasing. So customers will be given the opportunity, free of charge, to cancel their order should prices increase as a result of import duty changes.

“It is important to remember in all this that transaction price, and indeed the sale (in a retail environment), are agreed between the dealer and customer. However, we have reminded our networks of the importance of being transparent with their customers on any of our price protection policies which may have an impact on their sale.”

Brexit sends car finance costs soaring nearly 50 percent

Brexit car finance PCP

New research by Parkers has revealed that car finance costs have increased by as much as 48 percent since Britain voted for Brexit and to leave the European Union. All of sudden used cars look a lot more appealing…

This is thanks, in part at least, to the drop in the value of the pound against other currencies, particularly the Euro. In May 2016, the Euro was 1.30 to the pound, while in February 2019, it sits strong at 1.10. Given a large number of cars are imports from the EU, costs to buy and lease have, at best, risen commensurately and are, at worst, significantly more.

The scary thing is that these figures aren’t with reference to big-ticket cars – quite the opposite, in fact. Take the BMW 1 Series, a car at the end of its life cycle that ought to be a value proposition right now. If you signed a £200 per-month contract for a 1er in January 2017, the same car would cost you £298 per month now.

In total, you’d end up paying £4,606 more over the course of the contract. That is an astonishing increase, giving credence to that 48 percent increase figure.

Brexit car finance PCP

The BMW seems a somewhat lofty proposition, so for comparison purposes, consider the humble and appallingly unsafe Fiat Panda. January 2017 cost: £119 per month. February 2019 cost: £153 per month. That’s an increase of £34 per month, adding up to a total of £1,580 extra over the course of a contract.

Given we’re approaching the three-year mark since the Brexit vote was passed, many PCP contracts taken out around the time will be coming to an end. PCP buyers will invariably be facing marked increases if they want to replace their car like-for-like on a new contract.

Revealed: almost every car-making region voted LEAVE in Brexit referendum

Honda car factory in SwindonThe shock news that Honda is to close its Swindon car manufacturing plant has inevitably focused attention on the region’s decision to vote leave in the 2016 European Union Referendum. 

Local Conservative MP Justin Tomlinson insisted Brexit was not a factor in Honda’s decision, but other industry commentators argue it will not have helped. 

But it’s not just Honda. Nissan and Sunderland are intrinsically linked, yet Sunderland is another region that voted leave. The company employs almost 7,000 people at the factory itself, with thousands more across the North East tied to the supply chain that feeds it.

Leave voting automotive areas

In an area affected by the decline of traditional industries, Nissan is not just part of the economy. For many, it is central to the financial lifeblood of the region. In the aftershock of Nissan’s recent decision to cancel building the next X-Trail SUV in the UK, attention also focused strongly on the region.

Counting the consequences

Leave voting automotive areasThe Sunderland area has itself become closely associated with the fallout from the 2016 European Union membership referendum.

Sunderland City Council has a determination to count election votes the quickest, meaning it often makes the headlines on polling day. In 2016, this meant that, for many, the first results from Wearside are intrinsically linked to memories of the referendum.

The connection between Nissan and Sunderland had led many to wonder how an area so dependent on frictionless trade with Europe could have voted to leave the EU.

Sunderland and Swindon: two of many

Leave voting automotive areasOther commentators have gone even further, revelling in schadenfreude, and suggesting that the people of Sunderland and Swindon deserve outcomes like the loss of the X-Trail and Civic for how they voted in 2016.

However, as much as the two regions’ decision to vote leave in 2016 may have baffled some, our research shows they were not alone.

Data from the EU referendum reveals districts linked to no fewer than 20 other car factories and sites across the UK also voted to leave. Just two voted remain.

Marginal leave-voting areas

Leave voting automotive areasEight voting districts, covering eight separate car production facilities, voted with a marginal swing towards leave.

The various companies accounted for a combined total of more than 12,000 employees at the time of the vote, with Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port facility alone producing more than 118,000 cars in 2016.

FactoryManufacturerVoting District2016 Vote Result
LongbridgeMG Motor SAICBirmingham50.4% Leave
Castle BromwichJaguar Land RoverBirmingham50.4% Leave
Ellesmere PortVauxhallCheshire West & Chester50.7% Leave
GoodwoodRolls-RoyceChichester50.9% Leave
CreweBentleyCheshire East51.2% Leave
GaydonAston MartinStratford-on-Avon51.6% Leave
HalewoodJaguar Land RoverKnowsley51.6% Leave
HethelLotusSouth Norfolk51.7% Leave
MalvernMorganMalvern Hills52.2% Leave

Stronger leave-voting areas

Ford BridgendAccounting for a staggering 22,000 automotive jobs, this group of districts includes a mixture of manufacturing and technical facilities.

Vauxhall’s Luton plant has existed in various guises since 1905, while Toyota UK’s Deeside facility only opened in 1992.

FactoryManufacturerVoting District2016 Vote Result
BridgendFordBridgend54.6% Leave
Honda of the UKHondaSwindon54.7% Leave
Plant SwindonBMW (Mini)Swindon54.7% Leave
WhitleyJaguar Land RoverCoventry55.6% Leave
SolihullJaguar Land RoverSolihull56.2% Leave
DeesideToyota Flintshire56.4% Leave
LutonVauxhallLuton56.5% Leave

Strongest leave-voting areas

Leave voting automotive areasThe final set of five factories are spread across a wide geographic area, with more than 15,000 employees split between them.

Intriguingly, Dagenham, Hams Hall and Wolverhampton all exist as facilities to produce engines only.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Wolverhampton-based Engine Manufacturing Centre was only opened in 2014. Plant Hams Hall has seen recent investment from BMW to produce engines for the i8 hybrid sports car.

FactoryManufacturerVoting District2016 Vote Result
BurnastonToyota UKSouth Derbyshire60.4% Leave
SunderlandNissan UKSunderland61.3% Leave
DagenhamFordBarking & Dagenham62.4% Leave
WolverhamptonJaguar Land RoverSouth Staffordshire64.8% Leave
Plant Hams HallBMWNorth Warwickshire66.9% Leave

Remain-voting areas

Leave voting automotive areasNot every area linked to car production voted leave in 2016. Our research found two districts that voted in favour of remain.

FactoryManufacturerVoting District2016 Vote Result
WokingMcLarenWoking56.2% Remain
Plant OxfordBMW (Mini)Oxford70.3% Remain

Leave it out

Leave voting automotive areasThe 2016 EU referendum is a deeply polarising topic, with the reasons for how individuals voted often complex and multifaceted.

What our research does show is that despite local economies often being deeply linked to the local automotive sector, for most areas this did not affect how they voted.

It also serves as a key reminder of the scale of the UK automotive sector, and that those taking satisfaction from the latest Nissan announcement may be overlooking a far wider trend.

EU car industry to stagnate in 2019 – Brexit, emissions and the U.S. to blame

EU car industry to stagnate

The EU car market is predicted to stagnate in 2019 at 2018 levels, with a growth rate of less than one percent. Brexit, tightening emissions regulations, and the demonisation of diesel are being blamed, as potential U.S. import tariffs are breeding a feeling of uncertainty.

The past five years have seen a continuous trend of growth in the car industry, but things are likely to change. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is expecting level figures, at best, for 2019.

EU car industry to stagnate

ACEA president Carlos Tavares outlined some of “the major challenges ahead” at a conference in Paris on Wednesday. “Meeting stringent car and van CO2 targets – both for 2020 and the recently-agreed post-2020 targets – the looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit, and the ever-present threat of tariffs on US car imports” top the list of worries the European car industry.

“The prospect of a no-deal Brexit still has not been ruled out. On the contrary, this scenario looks more likely than ever before,” Tavares continued. Manufacturers are facing market uncertainty not seen since the recession and prior economic dips of that scale. That carmakers with UK-based manufacturing along with large-scale importers are throttling back shouldn’t come as a surprise.

EU car industry to stagnate

Gloomy sales projections aren’t the only bad news, either. Figures are suggesting that 2018 is the second year in a row that CO2 figures have risen, with a 6.5 percent increase last year. This is down in part to the drop in diesel sales and a commensurate rise in petrol sales. Diesel was touted many years ago as the wonder fuel in terms of reducing CO2 output. Now it’s taken such a sharp downturn, the figures are back on the up.

All this combined with threats of import tariffs in the US for manufacturers that don’t build their cars over there makes a gloomy 2019 result all but unavoidable.

No Deal: European cars we can’t buy in the UK

European cars you can’t buy

From compact city cars to luxury SUVs: there’s a new car for everyone. But that doesn’t stop us peering across the English Channel to gaze longingly at some of the European cars that we’re denied access to in the UK. Here’s a selection of Euro motors we wish were sold on these shores.

Renault Megane Grand Coupe

European cars you can’t buy

When is a compact saloon not a compact saloon? When it’s a Grand Coupe. The name makes no sense, but there’s no denying the Renault Megane Grand Coupe is a good looking saloon. It actually boasts a larger boot than its hatchback counterpart, but while it will be sold in 20 countries worldwide, UK buyers will be denied the privilege of driving the attractive Renault.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio manual

European cars you can’t buy

We still have to pinch ourselves about this one. A genuinely handsome, rear-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo with a top speed that puts it at the top table of the supercar elite. Thanks to the small matter of 510 raging horses, the Giulia Quadrifoglio will hit 191mph, all for a shade over £60,000. Yes, you can buy it in the UK, but the cost of converting to right-hand drive means we don’t get the manual transmission. Shame.

Citroen E-Mehari

European cars you can’t buy

The original Mehari is a bit of cult vehicle within Citroen circles, so this beach buggy for the new millennium has a lot to live up to. The signs are good: a potential range of 125 miles, 70mph top speed and a maintenance-free body are amongst the highlights. It’s already on sale in France, but a UK-launch is unlikely. On the plus side, it’ll be the coolest car at the holiday rental compound.

Renault Talisman

European cars you can’t buy

The Citroen C6, Renault 25, Peugeot 605, Renault Vel Satis and Peugeot 607, to name but a few – lessons from history warning French carmakers that shifting big cars is a big ask in the UK. Which helps to explain why the Renault Talisman isn’t available here. Nobody would buy it and it would depreciate faster than you could say ‘financial ruin’, but that doesn’t stop us wanting one.

Citroen C-Elysée

European cars you can’t buy

We’re not fans of small saloons in the UK, preferring the practicality of a hatchback. Thus the C-Elysée – a staple of the French taxi trade – has never made it to these shores. On the one hand, that’s a positive; Jalopnik journalist Doug DeMuro described it as the worst car he’s even driven. On the other, the championship-winning WTCC racer looks pretty cool.

Fiat Freemont

European cars you can’t buy

Spend some time across the Channel and it won’t be long before you stumble across a Fiat Freemont, especially in its native Italy. Actually, that’s a bit of a moot point, because the Freemont is based on the all-american Dodge Journey. It was unveiled back in 2007, so it’s hardly a spring chicken and is currently being phased-out. If we’re honest, that’s probably a good thing.

Dacia Lodgy Stepway

European cars you can’t buy

The Dacia Lodgy offers space for up to seven people and traditional Dacia value for money. OK, so the Stepway version does inflate the price, but it looks a million Euros. Practical, wipe-clean motoring for a bargain price. Where do we sign? Oh, we can’t. Shame.

Renault Espace

European cars you can’t buy

The Renault Espace helped to establish the people carrier segment in the early 1980s and it soon became part of the UK furniture. The fourth generation Espace offers styling that doesn’t say to the world you’ve given up on life and are well past your prime. In fact, it looks more appealing than the majority of crossovers. Being denied access to the Espace just isn’t playing fair.

Opel Ampera-e

European cars you can’t buy

The original Vauxhall (and Opel) Ampera was one of the first production plug-in hybrids. Sadly, it was too far ahead of its time and sold in tiny numbers. This second-generation car – renamed Ampera-e and only available in left-hand drive – looks more conventional and is now fully electric. Opel claims a range of 236 miles using the latest WLTP test cycle.

Mercedes-Benz G500

European cars you can’t buy

If you want a new G-Wagen in the UK (and we do), your only option is the blood-and-thunder 585hp AMG G63. However, many consider the detuned 422hp G500 a better all-rounder. It’s quieter, smoother and more efficient – and considerably cheaper to buy, too. But only if you live on the continent…

Volvo S60 Polestar

European cars you can’t buy

We’re fortunate enough to be offered the Volvo V60 Polestar, but the S60 is strictly off limits. This is due in part to the fact that we prefer wagons to saloons, but there’s something delightfully old-school about the S60 Polestar. Avoid the Rebel Blue paint job and it’s one of the world’s ultimate sleepers.

Skoda Rapid Spaceback ScoutLine

European cars you can’t buy

On character count alone, this is one of the biggest names in Europe. The Skoda Rapid Spaceback Scoutline could be the Rapid you always dreamed of. Don’t let the looks deceive you, because this particular Skoda has about as much off-road ability as a Mini Moke, but it looks wonderfully cool in Pistachio Green.

Toyota Camry

European cars you can’t buy

The Camry made its UK debut in 1984, soon establishing itself as the flagship of the Toyota range. It majored on equipment and refinement, but there was a Sport model, complete with 2.2-litre 16v engine. The Camry lived on until 2004, but hasn’t been seen in the UK since. However, it will make a comeback later this year…

Lada Granta Sport

European cars you can’t buy

Who doesn’t want a budget-priced compact saloon with sporting credentials? The Lada Granta Sport is powered by a distinctly old-school 1.6-litre 16v engine, delivering a distinctly old school 0-62 mph time of 9.5 seconds. For some reason we’re really keen to drive it. We have visions of being transported back to the 1990s. And that’s a good thing.

Renault Clio Estate

European cars you can’t buy

Small estate cars aren’t hugely popular in the UK, with the Skoda Fabia and SEAT Ibiza representing the best of a rather niche breed. But we feel we’re missing out by not having the Renault Clio Estate on sale in the UK. One for Nicole’s more practical sister, perhaps?

Toyota Highlander

European cars you can’t buy

The Toyota Highlander is a seven-seat SUV built at Toyota’s plant in Indiana, along with its assembly plant in China. It’s not widely available in Europe, but customers in Moldova and Ukraine are able to get their hands on Toyota’s “sophisticated” SUV. We’d like a single Highlander to be sold in the UK, just to enable us to use the ‘there can be only one’ gag.

Lada 4×4 Urban

European cars you can’t buy

The word ‘urban’ is often synonymous with cutting-edge cool. Not here. Lada’s 4×4 Urban is essentially a reworked version of the ancient Niva, with a 1.7-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and (slightly) more modern dashboard. Like the Land Rover Defender or Suzuki Jimny, though, it has a certain back-to-basics appeal.

Fiat Tipo saloon

European cars you can’t buy

While UK buyers will be able to buy to the Fiat Tipo as a hatchback or estate car, we’re being denied the compact saloon. Taking into account the fact that small estates are a hard sell in the UK, we think the Tipo saloon looks rather stylish. A budget alternative to the Audi A3 saloon and Mercedes-Benz CLA?

Renault Kwid

European cars you can’t buy

The Indian-market Renault Kwid is set to enter Europe and there’s every chance it could arrive in the UK as a Dacia. Remarkably, prices in India start at the equivalent of £2,945, so it could present astonishing value for money in the UK. A decent addition to the Dacia range? We think so.

Brexit spells Brexit

‘STOP BREXIT’, says white van man on 19,000-mile mission

Brexit spells Brexit

Andy Pardy isn’t a man to sit back and do nothing. Which is why he quit his job, bought a van and set off on a European adventure to spell things out. Put simply, he wants to ‘STOP BREXIT’.

On a 30,000km (18,641-mile) trip he has dubbed ‘The Last European Tour’, Mr Pardy is creating the words using a GPS tracker by travelling across the continent over the coming months. His hope: to encourage politicians to stop Brexit.

As his Instagram account reveals, Mr Pardy – aka @therogueconsultant – set off from Loch Lomond on 10 July, before crossing the water to Northern Ireland, over the border into the Republic of Ireland and sailing to Wales, before making his way to Cornwall. 

Thirty hours and 1,522km after leaving Loch Lomond, he had ‘written’ the letter ‘S’, completing stage one of his mission. His last update, on 8 August, shows him crossing the border into Finland, commenting: “the P is progressing nicely.”

A farewell tour

His website outlines the reasons for his adventure, which will cover 32 countries over the course of 356 driving hours.

“As you’re probably aware, it’s our last summer inside the EU as we know it. To mark the occasion, I’ve decided to embrace the concept of free movement and embark on a farewell tour.

“My objective is to follow a carefully constructed route, visiting 32 of mainland Europe’s countries whilst sharing the best of what they have to offer along the way. My van and I will stick diligently to this route, ensuring we leave a clear message daubed over the continent: Stop Brexit.”

Mr Pardy told Sky News: “I believe the ability to explore as well as live and work abroad without tiresome red tape is an immense privilege and, although we don’t yet know to what extent this might be affected, I wanted to highlight some of the benefits as they stand.”

Not everyone is behind the mission, with people taking to Twitter to voice their opinions. Keith Adams had this to say:

Meanwhile, Stuart said he could have achieved the same result by staying at home and opening his laptop:

Mr Pardy will finish with the letter ‘T’ in Belarus and has promised to offset his carbon footprint when the mission is complete.

Read more:

Aston Martin

Aston Martin ‘greatly encouraged’ by government Brexit plan

Aston MartinAston Martin has issued a statement saying it is “greatly encouraged” by the government consensus on a Brexit plan for the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU, as agreed at Chequers on Friday. 

Ahead of MPs and peers discussing the plan in Parliament, the British sports car firm has issued its public support for the plan, which it says “addresses both the concerns of industry, whilst respecting the result of the EU Referendum”. 

Aston Martin made the automotive industry’s position clear: it’s one that makes long-term investment and employment decisions, and thus needs clarity and certainty to plan for this. “Over the past few months this clarity has been lacking.

“Any new trading arrangement that would introduce tariffs, regulatory divergence or other barriers for business would be a poor outcome for both the UK and the EU.” The Chequers Brexit plan seeks to avoid this.

“We fully support the Government’s proposed approach to a new combined customs territory, that will provide us with continued unlimited access to our European supply chain, whilst also allowing the UK to form new trade deals with some of the fastest growing economies around the world.”

Now comes the hard part, adds Aston Martin: “ensure that the opportunities outlined by the Prime Minister are implemented, for the economic benefit of both the UK and EU.” (And overcome the inevitable hurdles that are already arising, it could have added…)

It’s unusual for a car company to issue such a fulsome statement of support for government policy, but Brexit has long frustrated the automotive industry which has felt its concerns were not being recognised or listened to. This is why Aston Martin has felt the need to celebrate what it considers a good result. 

“This is a positive step forward for Aston Martin’s future growth and we commend the Cabinet in reaching this consensus.”

Mike Hawes

Car industry risks ‘death by a thousand cuts’ without Brexit rethink

Mike HawesProgress on Brexit needs to speed up in order to allay growing automotive industry concerns and address a marked slowdown in investment, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has warned.

The automotive industry trade body is today presenting its latest report on the health of the UK car sector, which shows that manufacturing turnover hit a record £82 billion in 2017. However, it says this success risks being reversed without the speedy conclusion of a deal that clarifies Britain’s regulatory and customs relations with the EU.

Already in 2018, inward investment in the car industry has suffered a marked slowdown. Less than £350 million has been committed to new models and factories in the UK – that’s half the amount invested in the first half of 2017. Production output has slowed and there have been job cuts.

“There is growing frustration in global boardrooms at the slow pace of negotiations,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “The current position, with conflicting messages and red lines, goes directly against the interests of the UK automotive sector which has thrived on single market and customs union membership.

‘No Brexit dividend for cars’

Vauxhall Ellesmere Port

“There is no credible ‘plan B’ for frictionless customs arrangements, nor is it realistic to expect that new trade deals can be agreed with the rest of the world that will replicate the immense value of trade with the EU.”

Hawes’ demand was stark: “Government must rethink its position on the customs union.

“There is no Brexit dividend for our industry, particularly in what is an increasingly hostile and protectionist global trading environment. Our message to government is that until it can demonstrate exactly how a new model for customs and trade with the EU can replicate the benefits we currently enjoy, don’t change it.”

Speaking earlier to the BBC, Hawes said the risk was “death by a thousand cuts”. The slowdown in investment would lead to a weakening of the UK car industry as manufacturers invested elsewhere. 

“With decisions on new vehicle models in the UK due soon,” said the SMMT, “government must take steps to boost investor confidence and safeguard the thousands of jobs that depend on the sector.”

Brexit

Here’s what a no-deal Brexit will mean for UK drivers

Brexit

A no-deal Brexit has serious implications for UK motorists planning to drive abroad. That’s the warning from the Licence Bureau, following the publication of a Brexit guidance document by the Department of Transport (DoT).

If you’re heading to Europe after March 2019, here’s what you need to know.

Being insured to drive in the EU

If a no-deal Brexit goes through, you may need to acquire what they call an insurance ‘green card’ to drive in the EU. That applies to Europeans wishing to drive in the UK, too. 

The documents should be supplied by insurers. Driving in the EU without one would be illegal, and tantamount to driving uninsured. You’ll need to apply for one at least a month in advance of when you plan on driving abroad, too.

The good news is that a green card should come free of charge. Whether insurers will pass on the small admin costs they incur remains to be seen.

There will be hard European borders when it comes to this policy, too. For example, as Green Card will be necessary for driving into Ireland from Northern Ireland and vice versa.

Is the green card guaranteed to happen? Possibly not. An agreement to waive the need for a green card was struck back in May 2018, but whether it will be ratified in time for a March 29 no-deal Brexit is in question.

Our advice is to call your insurer and ask the question well in advance, whatever the Brexit outcome. 

Will we be able to drive in the EU after Brexit?

The DoT document begins “your driving licence may no longer be valid by itself when driving in the EU”. Don’t panic, though, the key words here are “by itself”.

At present, our membership of the EU means we can simply touch down on the continent and drive as we please (insurance is implied). Post-March 2019, it won’t be quite as simple. You will also need what’s known as an IDP, or International Driving Permit.

There are two versions of the IDP: the 1949 Geneva Convention version and the 1968 Vienna Convention version. The former is valid for a year and the latter for three years. One of these permits has always been required for driving in countries outside the EU – the USA or Japan for example. Some people, therefore, may be used to acquiring them.

From March 2019, one or both of these permits will be required for UK citizens to drive in the EU with a UK driving licence. We say ‘both’ as different EU countries are covered by different permits. The DoT guidance cites France and Spain as examples of two countries that require different documentation.

How do I get an International Driving Permit?

Brexit

From 1 February, you’ll be able to walk into one of 2,500 post offices across the UK and buy one or both driving permits.

It’ll cost £5.50 per permit, but the process shouldn’t take more than five minutes.

Moving to the EU after Brexit

At present, if you move to the EU, you can simply exchange your UK driving licence for one from your new country of residence.

If you’re already living abroad and thus have already exchanged, you’re good to carry on as normal. If you’re heading out shortly, you have until March to exchange. Move post-Brexit and you might need to take a local test and earn a new licence from scratch…

Negotiations are ongoing, as we are so often reminded, but as yet, they’re meeting a lot of obstacles. An arrangement could potentially be achieved before March whereby licences are still valid. However, in the event of that not happening, the above information will stand.

Read more:

RAC Fuel Watch

Fuel price rise a ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit and OPEC

RAC Fuel WatchA ‘perfect storm’ of a Brexit-induced plummet in the pound and a threat of oil production cuts by OPEC and Russia has led to the average price of fuel increasing 3p in just three weeks.

The average price of petrol now stands at 116p, says the RAC – a huge contrast to just eight months ago, where petrol was around 102p a litre.

The least economical cars on sale

Fuel prices falling after 4 months of hikes

Is this as good as it gets for cheap fuel prices?

The days of £1 a litre prices, last experienced around Christmas 2015, are now but a memory, says the firm’s fuel price consumer champion, RAC Fuel Watch.

Spokesman Simon Williams told Motoring Research there’s a threat of further fuel prices too, as the 14 oil-producing countries that make up OPEC are due to meet on November 30th, where they could possibly agree on a cut in oil production.

“Even the threat of a cut has been enough to push up prices,” said Williams. “We can expect further increases in the cost of a barrel of oil if OPEC actually does agree to cut oil production.

“It’s possible Russia will agree to a cut in production as well,” he added – Williams also revealed that the UK imports 40% of the diesel sold here, and it comes mainly from… Russia.

‘Flash crash’

The biggest factor in recent price rises has, however, been the ‘flash crash’ in the value of the pound on 7 October. As fuel is traded in US dollars, it’s this that has hiked up forecourt prices by so much recently.

The last time prices rose this quickly was at the start of 2011, revealed Williams. “Less than four months later, the then Chancellor George Osborne took the step of cutting fuel duty by 1p to 57.95p.”

These days, fuel is around 20p a litre cheaper than it was back then, but the outlook still looks rather ominous, said Williams.

“If the Chancellor has been tempted to raise duty in next month’s Autumn Statement as a result of recent lower fuel prices, the current uncertainty should make him think again.”