The important news is that this weekend it’s the Le Mans 24 hour race. Enjoy. In other news, this coming Monday (Probably. Or not. What could possibly go wrong?) will see the start of the Brexit negotiations with those obstinate continental fellows.
The UK’s bargaining power may well be slightly diminished by the recent election ‘fracas’; that remains to be seen. Meanwhile, much horse-trading is going on between the anxious, fractious political parties which is of course far more important than sorting this country out.
Above all, what does the future hold for British motorists in the next couple of years?
The Brexit Survey
Polls and surveys are always a bit tenuous in the sense that they offer big imposing number percentages that are garnered from a relatively small cross-section of people; but it does seem that car owners are concerned about rising costs as the UK prepares to go it alone in the world like an unwanted stray dog.
A recent survey suggests that ‘millions of British drivers are preparing to see costs soar when it comes to car buying and maintenance following the UK’s departure from the EU’.
A bit hyperbolic perhaps. Our economic future is unknowable. Either a deal will be worked out or we’ll all go to hell in a handcart. The concern is that the price of new cars will rise significantly. Without a viable and mutual trade agreement this is almost certainly true. With the global nature of the car industry these days you can’t really even say that Brits should ‘buy British’. It isn’t that simple.
So a majority of motorists expect Brexit to cause the price of new cars to increase. With typically British gloom, born of hard and bitter experience, hardly anyone believes the prices will come down.
When it comes to prices of second hand cars, says the survey, a third of drivers expect to see a rise in the cost of buying a used motor as a result of the dreaded Brexit, yet a small percentage are predicting that it will bring used prices down. This cost increase many believe, will have a knock-on effect on the ancillary costs of motoring and in particular fuel.
DriveWrite doesn’t think that the recent reported fall in car sales has anything much to do with Brexit woes. That’s likely down to Odious Osborne, the former chancellor, and his revised VED rates from last year, recently applied. Motorists are not thinking that far ahead. We have enough to worry about in the here and now to concern ourselves overly about the outcome of something that hasn’t even started.
Political opponents of government are going to talk up these negative vibes, that’s a given, and the press like nothing more than creating stress and panic wherever possible because they want to sell their oily rags.
Looking at the current shambles it is hard to be confident about Brexit, the future of the motor industry and the knock-on effect it will have on ‘ordinary, hard-working families’ and their motoring budgets (and their holidays, here). Let’s hope the motor industry stands firm in the face of a sea of political fudge and waffle. The industry is too important economically to consider anything other than a positive scenario. Geoff Maxted