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How has the petrol shortage affected the car industry?

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One of the major talking points among motorists this autumn has been a well-publicised fuel crisis that has moved the UK Government to introduce short-term visas for overseas drivers to assist with replenishing petrol stations. Indeed, such has been the disruption, that military personnel have even been tasked with driving fuel tankers to further alleviate the problem. 

This situation, which has led to many people being unable to adequately refill their cars’ fuel tanks for their day-to-day responsibilities, is no longer at the very top of the news agenda. Nonetheless, the crisis has been serious enough to raise questions about both its short-term and long-term impacts. 

The effects on the automotive industry have been immediate 

You might have imagined that the consequences of the petrol crisis on the car industry might be largely longer-term ones, such as motorists being prompted to give more thought to the idea of their next vehicle being an electric one. We’ll get to that subject in a moment. 

However, some parts of the car industry have come under strain much sooner than that. CarDealer reported as the crisis unfolded, for instance, one dealership’s claim that one of their buyers even refused to come and collect their car unless it was already loaded with fuel. 

It is important to note, however, that according to oil companies, there hasn’t strictly been a “petrol shortage”, but instead a lack of drivers to get fuel to forecourts. Indeed, it has been said that the UK is experiencing a shortfall of more than 100,000 HGV drivers, which has also proved a headache for the retail sector, including the likes of supermarkets and restaurants. 

The car industry has not been immune to the consequences itself, though. The CEO of one online marketplace cited in the CarDealer piece stated that “people who want to buy and sell cars safely from home rely on the logistics industry to move these cars around – so if this lack of HGV drivers continues, it may start to impact car sales.” 

Could the situation lead you to buy a different type of car in future? 

With London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEV) zone being expanded as of Monday 25th October, UK motorists already have reason to consider going fully electric, even independent of any problems with fuel supplies. The highly visible recent scenes from around the country of cars stood queuing for fuel pumps, though, may well accelerate this trend. 

According to data from analytics firm Sophus3, for example, Wednesday 22nd September saw 31% of visitors to manufacturer websites clicking on an electric car, with that figure dropping only very slightly – to 28% – the following Sunday. 

Google Trends data painted a similar picture, UK searches around the term ‘electric car’ jumping to an index figure of 53 on Thursday 23rd September, and climbing further to 72 the next day.  

Again, though, it is important to emphasise that even any spike in electric car sales in the wake of the crisis would only mark the continuation of an ongoing trend. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) indicate that UK registrations for electric vehicles (EVs) went up by 32.2% on a year-on-year basis in August, prior to the fuel crisis dominating the headlines. 

In any case, the UK Government has already long announced the banning of new petrol and diesel car sales as soon as 2030. Nonetheless, the difficulties that many car owners in the UK have encountered in getting petrol into their tanks in recent weeks might well convince you to browse our own latest vehicle stock to see what electric cars are presently available for purchase. 

And if you’re struggling to find a great deal for such a vehicle, don’t forget that here at Car Finance Genie, we help drivers to obtain car finance with bad credit – thereby assisting in bringing all manner of attractive vehicles within your financial reach. 

Other source (not linked): https://www.carbuyer.co.uk/electric-cars/303498/interest-in-electric-cars-surges-during-fuel-shortage 

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