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More buyers will ‘buy British’ in event of no-deal Brexit

A Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) production line

More than half (53%) of in-market car buyers would be inclined to buy a British-built model to avoid price hikes in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to new research by What Car?.

With less than a month until the UK’s transition period with the European Union comes to an end, trade negotiations have not concluded and the UK faces the potential of having no trade agreement with the EU.

For the automotive sector, a no-deal scenario could result in price rises for imported vehicles and supply delays.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has predicted that under a no-deal scenario - with a 10% World Trading Organisation (WTO)-mandated import tariff - EU- built vehicle prices could rise by £1,900 in the UK, while EU-built electric vehicles could face a price hike of £2,800.

Commenting on the research, Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car? and Haymarket Automotive, said: “While this is great news for the likes of Nissan, Vauxhall, Jaguar Land Rover and others with vehicle factories in the UK, it would seriously hurt manufacturers with production outside the country.”

With changes to new vehicle pricing arriving potentially as early as January 1, 2021, What Car?’s research found that 34% of in-market buyers are considering bringing their vehicle purchase forward to avoid supply delays and cost hikes. This could see December registrations rising as a result.

The research also found that, in the case of a price increase, 25% would consider choosing fewer options on their next car, while 18% of buyers said they would go down a trim level to balance out the cost.

“While Brexit remains a divisive issue, our research found that 87% of buyers are aware vehicle prices could go up as a result of a no-deal agreement, while 64% said they were concerned about supply delays and import tariffs on new EU-built vehicles,” Prasher added.

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