Sales rush after green car grant change22 Oct 2018

Cleanest cars being sold at six times the previous rate

Changes to the level of government grants for ultra-low emission cars have been brought forward after a surge in sales.

Earlier this month ministers announced that the grant for so-called category one cars – broadly those that are pure battery electric – would be cut from £4,500 to £3,500.

At the same time grants for category two and three vehicles – mainly plug-in hybrids – were to be removed completely.

The changes were due to be implemented on 10 November unless a total of 3,000 category one and 6,000 category two and three cars were sold before that.

That 9,000 total was actually reached at the weekend, just ten days after the announcement, with an average of 900 claims being made daily.

This compares with the 25,624 grants – 140 a day – that were claimed in the first half of 2018.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“Whilst ministers might have fallen out of love with hybrid technology, this last-minute rush to showrooms suggests the reassurance of running in part on conventional fuel is attractive to buyers with range anxiety, especially when it comes at an attractive price.

“The big question is whether motorists’ enthusiasm for hybrids will hold up now that the plug has been pulled on the grant.”

ENDS

Contacts:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | philip.gomm@racfoundation.org

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.

The RAC Foundation is a registered charity, number 1002705.

All the RAC Foundation’s work is available on its website: www.racfoundation.org