2030 and the future of UK roads

With the ban on petrol and diesel cars coming in 2030, learn what you need to do to prepare.

Motoring advice

3 December 2021

Driving in the future – it’s something that conjures up visions of flying cars, driverless vehicles and scenes from sci-fi movies. And while there’s been huge leaps in technology, these kinds of ideas are still a long way away from reality.

That said, with a growing focus on sustainability and protecting our planet from dangerous emissions, driving will have changed drastically by 2030. While we don’t have a crystal ball, there are a few things we do know about that are on the horizon for the future of driving.

Will petrol and diesel cars be banned?

Governments around the world are committed to lowering their carbon emissions. In fact, the UK government has committed a £1.8 billion investment into grants and infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles. Part of these plans include the banning of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030 in the UK.

Transport produces 27% of the UK’s total emissions, with the majority of this made up by cars. The ban aims to reduce the amount of petrol and diesel cars on the road – it’ll also reduce the carbon emissions of producing these vehicles. Alongside this, there’s also a plan to ban the sale of hybrid vehicles by 2035. The aim is that by 2035, the only new cars that will be available to purchase will be pure electric vehicles.

What does this mean for me?

If you currently own a petrol or diesel car, there’s no need to worry and rush out to get a new car. The ban is specifically on new vehicles, not ones currently being used, so you’ll still be able to drive your car in 2030 and beyond. Private sales of second-hand vehicles will still be allowed after this date as well, so all petrol and diesel cars won’t vanish overnight.

However, it’s likely that petrol and diesel prices will continue to increase. So, it may be time to start thinking about your driving habits. The government is encouraging people to make use of public transport, and to try and cut down private journeys where you can. But we know that’s not always possible.

A lot of people are now turning to electric and hybrid cars. It’s highly likely that this will be the future of private transport, so you may want to think about how an electric vehicle would work for your current lifestyle.

Should I get an electric or hybrid car?

man charging electric car at car park charging point

There are two types of vehicle that use electricity: pure-electric cars and hybrids. The difference between the two is pretty simple; electric vehicles run only on electricity, whereas hybrids use a combination of electricity and petrol. As we mentioned earlier, sales of new hybrids will be banned from 2035 as we transition to pure-electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are on the rise. As of October 2021, there’s over 345,000 pure-electric cars on the road in the UK. With more and more models being released, and a growing desire for them, expect that number to rise.

There are plenty of benefits to these vehicles, for both you and the planet. As these vehicles run on electricity, they produce zero emissions. You’ll also find that fully charging your car will be much cheaper than filling a car up with petrol or diesel. And, you won’t find yourself queuing in long lines at the petrol station either.

However, electric vehicles don’t come without their problems. The driving range for these vehicles is often lower than their petrol and diesel counterparts, so you may find yourself having to make extra stops on longer journeys.

They also take longer to charge up compared to filling your car up at the petrol station. Additionally, not everyone will be able to install a charger at home. If you live in a flat, or a home without a driveway, it may be difficult to get one installed. And while you can get grant to help with the cost of installing a charging port at home, it can still be pretty expensive.

Finally, electric vehicles tend to be more expensive. The parts needed to build these vehicles cost more, which has a knock on impact to your wallet.

However, as we move closer to 2030, some of these issues may become less of a problem. As technology improves, so too will the driving range for electric vehicles, alongside the charging time needed. Electric cars may also become more affordable as more and more big manufacturers create new models.

In the end, it really comes down to your personal needs and preferences. Not everyone will want, or be able to afford, an electric vehicle. For those that make regular long journeys, they may also not be a viable option quite yet. It’s important that you consider your driving needs and whether an electric vehicle would work for you. If not, petrol and diesel cars won’t be completely gone anytime soon.

And remember, whatever type of vehicle you decide to drive, with AXA car insurance, you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands.