Tesla are likely to offer their charging facilities to all electric vehicle users. Credit: PXhere

Motoring: Buyers look for economical cars to combat increases in fuel and other inflationary pressures

Peter Vosper

The manufacturers and buyers of new cars have very different priorities at this time.

Manufacturers having to cope with smaller volumes of sales as a result of continuing shortage of components and are building the more expensive models in their brand which make them the most profit.

Consumers, faced with additional fuel and heating costs and an overall inflation rate of over nine per cent, are trying to reduce their monthly payments by buying smaller and more economical cars to offset these increases.

This has seen growth in sales by brands such as MG and Dacia who are struggling to build enough cars to meet consumer demands.

Electric cars which potential offer reduced running costs are also doing well particularly in big cities where infrastructure investment is far greater than in rural areas.

Tesla have realised this as an opportunity, and are likely to offer their charging facilities to all electric vehicle users which may upset many of their customers.

In short, the new car business has a problem which is unlikely to be resolved until some way into 2023.

As I have said before in this column the best way to pick up a new car is to register your interest with your local dealer and you will be first in line when cancellations occur, as motorists find alternatives or their circumstances change and they decide to stick with their current car for now.

As for business and fleet users, they are having to pay more for their vehicles or accept they must also keep going with their current product which will continue to rack up miles and make them less desirable when they are ultimately part exchanged or auctioned.

Brokers are having a lean time as they too, are struggling to find stock for their customers. The commercial vehicle market is now hard hit as the economy starts to show signs of recovery and waiting for up to six months for new product is commonplace.

Demand for new and used electric vehicles continues to grow as manufacturers present more offerings with higher ranges and more used electric vehicles return to the used car forecourts.

Expect to see more new models announced over the rest of the year but do not expect to get delivery for several months from your order.

One piece of good news is that battery degradation is turning out to be far less of a problem than originally expected and manufacturers are prepared to guarantee their batteries for typically 100,000 miles, or eight years.

The electric car is more and more likely to be the family choice for their second car, particularly if you are able to have home charging, as mileages are low and costs of charging are cheaper than fuel at the pumps.

The average second family car would have to charge only once or twice a week, even on the earlier electric models which had arrange of not much more than 100 miles.

Finally, used cars are returning to lower and more attractive prices as demand falls and availability increases.