Rising prices means falling ownership

The cost of living crisis is having a negative impact on car ownership.

According to MotoNovo Finance’s latest Customer Insight research, the fall in car ownership reported by the SMMT comes as little surprise, with economic and social factors along with associated environmental issues driving an evolution in consumer and business behaviours.

MotoNovo finance MD Karl Werner, said: “We have just published our latest Customer Insight research, undertaken in April and early May. Budgetary factors are a significant issue right now. With hybrid working becoming embedded, increasing environmental concerns and for some, associated Clear Air Zone (CAZ) costs and moves to lower cost commuting options including bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters, alongside a return to public transport are inevitable.”

At the same time as the SMMT published its data, the Scottish Government confirmed that low-emission zones are now formally in place in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. It is a move being seen across the UK. The action in Scotland will eventually see many older vehicles barred from some streets, with owners of such cars facing a £60 fine for entering them.

While the fines are not yet in place, the move will inevitably see motorists assessing their options, whether to change to a newer car or change their commuting or travel habits. With budgets under increasing pressure, the potential for some to move away from a car is very real.

Werner said: “It is hardly surprising that the car parc has fallen in size given the pressures economically and environmentally. It all points to an evolving landscape for car retailing and aftersales. It is one we cannot ignore.”