IAM – drivers expect car prices to rise

IAM RoadSmart members expect car prices to rise following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. The road safety charity conducted a poll of over 1,000 members and visitors to its website between 27 June and 12 July, asking their views of how the decision by UK voters to leave the EU would affect them as drivers.

Of the 1,093 respondents, when asked if they thought the exit would have an impact on drivers and riders in terms of costs, nearly 50 per cent said prices would rise. In contrast less than 4 per cent said they would fall.

In terms of road safety, UK drivers and riders did not feel leaving the EU would change things for the better. Nearly 65 per cent said there would be no difference, while 16 per cent said road safety would deteriorate. Some 11 per cent said road safety would improve (reference 2).

When asked if the UK would have a better influence over other key issues affecting motorists and riders, again they were not convinced leaving the EU would improve the situation.

Slightly over 40 per cent thought there would be no change in the UK’s ability to control prices at the fuel pumps as a result of our exit. Again slightly over 40 per cent thought there would be no change in vehicle emissions when we leave (reference 3).

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “It appears that UK motorists are not fully convinced that they will benefit from us leaving the EU. At the very best they feel nothing will change, but at worst they think they will lose out. Although our survey paints a rather downbeat picture of how UK motorists feel it does give us a strong remit to represent their needs as key Brexit issues are debated in the months ahead.”

If representative of the wider motoring public, the survey results are a double-edged sword for those working in the tyre industry. On the one hand higher car prices, or fears of higher car prices, could continue to put pressure on replacement tyre prices – especially in the already uncertain economic environment. However, on the other hand, expectations that car prices are rices could lead to implicit expectations that car servicing costs (of which tyres contribute a significant part) could also increase – effectively making tyre price increases more acceptable to consumers.


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