Drivers could be exempt from upcoming UK road ban due to 'exception'

A new petrol and diesel car ban could be delayed past 2035 - with motors still available past the supposed cut-off date. The government has discussed how the proposed phasing out of petrol and diesel cars could materialise in the UK as we move towards net-zero.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a delay in the ban last year. Mr Sunak pushed back axing new petrol and diesel car sales from its expected 2030 end date to 2035 back in September last year, which will coincide with the European Union’s ban.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said: “The market should then decide what is economical and what consumers want, not politicians and civil servants. Against the resistance of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, we managed to ensure that there will be an exception to the ban on combustion engines in 2035 if vehicles are powered by synthetic fuels."

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“But we should go further and focus on technological openness in general,” Lindner said. The high-ranking official suggested auto manufacturers design petrol and diesel cars capable of running on biofuels to maintain the sale of the two vehicle classes.

The Bundestag member for North Rhine-Westphalia, representing the Free Democratic Party, said that synthetic liquid fuels and biofuels were also potential ways to "achieve financial friendliness". The UK will also be banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035, rather than the original target of 2030.

Lisa Watson, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, says: “The Government decision to delay the petrol and diesel ban won’t come as a surprise to car dealers given that 85 per cent of dealers didn’t think it would go ahead as planned anyway. Two in three believed it would be delayed, and one in five thought it would be scrapped altogether.

“We know that consumers also have mixed emotions about the switch to electric, and today’s comments will only add to the confusion felt across the industry about the future of car choice.

"The news will also leave manufacturers in the lurch, who have had to adapt their plans based on the ban."