Many factors come into play when motorists think about buying a new car. This is probably more true in 2022 than ever before, as the long term future of petrol and diesel vehicles is somewhat uncertain, thanks to the UK government’s decision to ban sales of new vehicles with these engines after 2030. What is unlikely to change, however, is the importance of price when buying a used car or van, however it’s powered. As there are still eight years to go before everything changes, motorists may well want to invest in a new vehicle while the going’s good; and buying now could make very good sense. Changes to be introduced in March 2022 mean drivers can bag a bargain on a used car or van if they time their purchase wisely.
Rising Demand for Used Cars
The reopening of society after two years of covid has had a number of consequences for the motoring industry. Firstly, there is evidence that more people than ever actually want to drive their own vehicle; whether this means buying or leasing, petrol, hybrid or fully electric, the easing of all restrictions has created a desire for the freedom and safety of a private car. This, of course, immediately inflates prices on the forecourt; with the result that many of those wishing to drive are looking for high quality used cars, complete with a healthy MOT test history.
Another reason new cars have inflated price tags is the global shortage of semiconductors; this is a phenomenon which came about because of the pandemic, as many Asian factories were mothballed or closed when businesses worldwide cut back their operations. Semiconductors are vital to all modern cars; indeed, motor manufacturing uses more of them than any other sector. When demand for new cars dropped, so car makers cancelled orders and tried to sell what stock they had. Since economies reopened, demand for semiconductors far outstrips supply, and will probably do so for two years. This shortage has also affected the automotive industry in other ways, such as causing delays in MOT testing due to a lack of available MOT Testers Stockport
With new cars prohibitively priced, eager drivers look to the used car market; so much so that some used cars have increased in value by nearly 60%. While this is good for sellers, it again means higher prices for buyers. This in turn is being offset by new methods of buying and / or leasing used vehicles, giving motorists more flexibility and choice than ever. Against this background, demand for both new and used cars and vans is certain to remain at a high level all the way through 2022, and probably beyond.
As is often the case, the introduction of new regulations is also playing a part in the cost of buying a car or van. In March 2022, a major player will be changes in standards for UK number plates, which will be part of future MOT testing. Standards were agreed upon in 2021 which will take effect from March, standardising the structure and makeup of all new plates; these will have to meet BS AU 145e, the British Standard for Retroreflective Number Plates, principally introduced to make improve ANPR coverage. Plates will have to be made of specific, tough materials and letters must be solid black, rather than the 3D effect some owners like.
The first tranche of new plates will be the “22” registration, to come in in March; the second will be “72” plates, due in September 2022. As these standards apply to plates on new cars, however, dealers will cut prices on current stock up to February 2022, leading to bargains for some buyers; the same will apply in August, before the 72 plate introduction. Of course, buying a new vehicle with older standard number plates is perfectly legal, as there are millions of vehicles on the UK’s roads using them already.
This variation in prices being offered on new cars and vans may see them become more competitive with those of new vehicles, especially on certain models. As with any other commodity, price competition is always good for the consumer; so 2022 could prove to be a good year for car buyers By keeping a keen eye out for upcoming influences, motorists should be able to grab what could be a great investment on the way to the really big change on the way in 2030.
As trusted engineers, checkmot.com are always behind any changes which make vehicles safer. The new number plate standards, combined with competition between new and used cars and vans, should ensure that the UK returns to normal with some of the safest roads in the world, carrying the safest vehicles driven by the safest motorists.