Falling sales, increasing accidents, rising prices at the pump in the pipeline – Forbes Advisor UK
New UK car registrations for May hit their lowest level in 68 years, falling 89% year over year, from 183,724 to just 20,247. The last time the figure for May was lower than it was in 1952, when 14,466 cars were registered.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the new car market has collapsed by more than 51% in the first five months of the year due to the coronavirus lockdown. He says the reopening of car showrooms in England on June 1 leaves room for optimism.
Showrooms in Northern Ireland will open next week, but no date has been given for their premises to reopen by car retailers in Scotland and Wales.
The figures come the same day, auto retailer Lookers announced 1,500 layoffs and the closure of 12 dealerships. He announced the closure of 15 dealerships last November, suggesting that not all problems in the new car market are due to the coronavirus.
Mike Hawes of SMMT said two months of foreclosure has been devastating: “The reopening of dealerships this week (in England) is a pivotal moment for the entire industry and the thousands of people whose jobs depend on it.
“Early reports suggest there are good deals out there given the circumstances, although it is far too early to say how demand will evolve in the weeks and months to come.”
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were the only fuel type to record a year-over-year increase in registrations in May, with 429 more units registered (2,424 versus 1995 in 2019). The best-selling car for May was the battery-powered Tesla Model 3 (852 units).
Mr Hawes said: “Making sure people have the confidence to invest in the latest vehicles will not only help them get around safely, but these new models will also help address some of the environmental challenges facing the world. UK is facing the long term. ”
The UK government has pledged to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035. However, in May, petrol cars accounted for 55% of new registrations with 17% diesel. BEVs took 12%, up from 1% last year.
Used car test risk
Price comparison site Go Compare predicts that consumer demand for new cars may exceed supply due to the suspension of manufacturing.
He says it could lead to an explosion in used car sales and is warning drivers to make sure they have coverage if they take a private seller’s car for a test drive.
Lee Griffin of Go Compare said: “New car production in Britain fell 99.7% in April with the shutdown of production lines, and it will be months before automakers return to full capacity. .
“The auto trade expects the deficit, along with government advice to avoid public transit, to boost the second-hand market.”
Mr Griffin says many people mistakenly assume their own insurance covers them to drive someone else’s car if they have permission to do so: “In the past, comprehensive policies usually covered you for. driving other cars, but this is rare these days – 92% of policies do not guarantee policyholders to drive cars other than their own.
“It is essential to check the terms and conditions of your policy to see if you have coverage and what it includes.”
It is forbidden to drive without insurance, even for a short distance.
Short term solution
Anyone who needs insurance to allow them to try out a private car can purchase a separate policy, with coverage for an hour or more.
Freddy Macnamara, founder of Cuvva, one of the companies in this market, said: “In some cases your annual auto insurance policy may cover you for additional cars, which don’t belong to you, but there are often problems. exclusions and it’s usually not full coverage, only one-third.
“Flexible, term auto insurance lets you protect yourself only for as long as you need it, when you test drive a used car. This means that you can avoid the hassle of modifying your existing annual auto insurance policy for a short period of time. “
Cuvva says that from April to May, he saw a 76% increase in the number of customers purchasing insurance to try out a car or drive their newly purchased car home.
Accidents on the increase
As more cars return to the road after the lockdown, there are fears of an increase in the number of accidents.
Admiral, the car insurer which sparked applause in April by reimbursing each of its car insurance underwriters £ 25 due to the overall reduction in miles driven during the lockdown, says accidental damage claims have started to rise since the relaxation of restrictions.
Lorna Connelly, the firm’s claims manager, said: “While the current volume of accidental motorist damage claims remains low, we have found that the number of incidents reported to us has started to increase. This suggests that as more motorists return to the roads, the likelihood of traffic accidents will also increase. “
The insurer compared a two-week period during the strict lockdown in early May with the following two weeks, when travel restrictions eased. It has seen a 39% increase in the number of accidental damage claims from motorists in England.
The increases were smaller in Scotland, where there was a 12% increase, and Wales, where there were 3% more claims. The admiral says this could be due to the fact that Scotland and Wales still had stay-at-home orders during those two weeks.
It is believed that a number of factors are behind this trend, including:
- a general increase in traffic on the roads
- motorists get back behind the wheel after a prolonged break in driving
- pedestrians and cyclists who have taken advantage of quieter roads not being prepared for increased traffic
- some drivers take unnecessary risks with excessive speed.
Cyclists at risk
Co-op insurance, meanwhile, has reported a 50% increase in claims involving cyclists over the past 10 weeks.
Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “This is very concerning. We implore all drivers to always obey the speed limits and to be extremely vigilant as people use local roads for their daily exercises.
“It is essential that drivers are aware of the risk they pose to other, more vulnerable road users, and to ensure that they slow down, only pass when they are absolutely sure to do so and leave. always plenty of room.
“Every accident impacts lives and increases the burden on our extended emergency services and the NHS.”
Low pump prices – but for how long?
Many drivers who haven’t driven at all in recent weeks, or who have done so sparingly, may be pleasantly surprised when they end up driving to a gas station.
According to the RAC, the average retail price of gasoline is £ 1.06 per liter, with some supermarkets selling for around £ 1 per liter.
Prices fell in May to levels not seen since 2016 due to lower demand for pumps, which reflected the collapse in demand for oil around the world as the industry ceased operations. Will prices therefore rise again with the reactivation of savings?
The answer is almost certainly yes. The wholesale price of oil, which fell sharply as the pandemic spread around the world, rose 83% in May to $ 34 a barrel. Inevitably, the wholesale price of gasoline has also increased and retailers are likely to pass this increased cost on to drivers.
Simon Williams of RAC said: “Last month, as we expected, the price of oil started to recover. If this continues into June, an increase in the cost of filling is almost inevitable.
“Drivers have to refuel when they can to benefit from the lowest prices in four years. While the impact of the coronavirus is set to last for a long time yet, we don’t expect prices at the pump to be this low.
DVLA extends photocard renewal
The DVLA today announced that drivers with a driver’s license with photo card expiring between February 1 and August 31, 2020 will be granted a 7-month extension from the expiration date. This will help drivers make the necessary trips without having to get a new photo to renew their license.
Normally, drivers are required to renew their photocard license every 10 years. Drivers will receive a renewal reminder before the end of their 7 month extension.
This extension applies to the photocard. If a driver’s right to drive expires and he wishes to continue to hold a valid license, he will have to renew this right in the usual way.