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UK ban on new petrol & diesel vehicles

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Find out everything you need to know about the UK 2035 ban on new petrol and diesel cars and how it will affect you.

At a glance 

  • The sale of new diesel and petrol cars will be banned in Northern Ireland and the UK from 2035. 
  • The ban will apply to all new diesel and petrol cars and vans sold in the UK and NI.  

Article Contents  

  • The ban on new petrol & diesel cars & vans  

    • Why are petrol & diesel cars being banned? 

    • What does the petrol & diesel car ban mean for drivers? 

    • How are the UK government investing in an EV future? 

  • How to prepare for the petrol & diesel car ban   

    • Learn about electric vehicles  

    • Switch to an electric vehicle 

    • Invest in electric vehicle technology

  • Petrol & diesel car ban - FAQs  

  • Further reading   
     

The ban on new petrol & diesel cars & vans  

Why are petrol & diesel cars being banned?  

The 2035 ban on petrol and diesel cars is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our roads. Combustion engine vehicles produce large amounts of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases that are contributing to climate change. The UK government has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Stopping the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 onwards is key to hitting that target. 

All EU countries have similar targets to reach net zero by 2050 under the European Climate Law. Both the UK and EU are promoting a switch to electric cars, which don’t release any tailpipe emissions, as a way of dramatically cutting the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from transport and slowing the impact of climate change. 

What does the petrol & diesel car ban mean for drivers? 

The upcoming ban on petrol and diesel vehicles means most drivers will need to switch to electric vehicles in the near future. From 2035, anybody buying a new car or van in Northern Ireland and the UK will no longer be able to buy a combustion engine vehicle. Ahead of the 2035 ban, many road users are already switching to electric vehicles (EVs) — and that trend will increase as we get closer to the ban coming into effect.  

There are a few options available to drivers making the switch to electric cars. These include plug-in electric cars, which are also known as 100% electric, pure electric or battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Sales of new hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars will be banned from 2035. 

Moving to an electric vehicle can be slightly daunting — it’s a different way of running a car for most people — but we’ll explore all the key things you need to do to get ready for the switch below.  

How is the UK government investing in electric vehicles? 

There are several things the UK Government is doing to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure and support the transition to EVs ahead of the 2035 ban. Accelerating the shift to zero-emission vehicles is point 4 on The 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution unveiled by the Government in November 2020. Some of the key investments relating to electric vehicles include:  

Domestic & Public EV Charge Points - The Government has pledged to invest £1.3 billion in thousands more EV charge points in homes, workplaces, residential streets and on motorways and major roads. The Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure is making changes to the planning system to make it easier to expand the EV charging infrastructure here. 

EV Grants for Individuals & Businesses - There is a £582 million package of grants available for some plug-in vehicles, including vans, trucks, motorcycles and wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Grants to install EV home chargers are available for people living in flats, people living in rental properties, and landlords in Northern Ireland and the UK. See current EV grants and EV charger grants. Businesses can enjoy considerable tax relief when investing in electric vehicles. 

EV Battery Development & Mass Production - The UK Government is working with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to develop EV batteries with longer lifespans. The Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure is supporting initiatives around green hydrogen production, which would help the development of ​hydrogen fuel cell electric cars. 

Investments in Nuclear Power - The UK Government plans to invest £385 million in new nuclear power infrastructure. This is to grow the electricity system to meet the increased demand from EV charging and other technologies that need low-carbon electricity. 

How to prepare for the petrol & diesel car ban   

If you’ve always driven petrol or diesel cars, we understand that you might be wary about the switch to EVs. But there are lots of things you can do to prepare for the 2035 ban on petrol and diesel vehicles in good time. Remember, there’s no hurry to sell or scrap your current car — it’s only the sales of new cars that will be banned. 

We’d suggest following these steps to get ready for the ban:

Learn about electric vehicles 

EVs are a bit different from petrol and diesel vehicles. Take the time to read up on how electric vehicles work. Learn about how to charge an EV. Find out about EV batteries and how long a charge lasts so you’re not experiencing range anxiety. You’ll soon find electric cars are not quite as confusing or daunting as you might have thought.

Consider a switch to an electric vehicle 

The next step is to find the right time to switch to an electric vehicle. This could depend on the age and condition of your vehicle, any finance agreements for your current car and when they end, as well as your wider financial circumstances.  

Electric vehicles are becoming more affordable all the time and that’s going to continue. Since they’re relatively new, there isn’t much of a second-hand market for electric vehicles at the moment. Again, this will change over time — but keep in mind that demand for your second-hand combustion vehicle might drop at the same time. 

Invest in electric vehicle technology  

It’s also a good idea to put in place plans that will make life as an EV owner more convenient and more cost-effective. Installing a home EV charger, like the Power NI EV Charger, will help you to charge your electric car overnight. Switch to a green EV tariff to get reduced overnight charging rates, then use your smart charger app to schedule charges for when your electricity is cheapest.   

Explore our EV charger and tariff options to get your home ready for an electric vehicle.  

Switch to an Electric Vehicle with Power NI

Petrol & Diesel Car Ban - FAQs 

If you’ve still got questions about the ban on petrol and diesel cars or making the switch to EVs, you might find the answers in our FAQs. 

Will the 2035 ban on new petrol & diesel be pushed back? 

The Government previously announced a 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars. This was postponed to 2035 by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in September 2023. There is no indication at this stage that the ban will be pushed back any further. 

Can I still drive my diesel or petrol car after 2035? 

Yes, the ban is only on the sale of new cars so you will be able to continue to drive a diesel or petrol car. There is no date currently set for when the sale of second-hand diesel and petrol cars will be banned, but the expectation is that motorists will switch to electric cars when they’re ready to get a new car. 

Will hybrid & plug-in hybrid cars be banned? 

Yes, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars will also be banned in 2035. Both vehicle types were originally given a five-year extension beyond the ban on conventional petrol and diesel vehicles. But since the ban on petrol and diesel cars has been pushed back to 2035, sales of hybrid vehicles will now be banned at the same time.  

When will new diesel and petrol cars stop being sold? 

Sales of diesel and petrol cars are likely to continue right up until the 2035 ban, though many car manufacturers and showrooms are already shifting their focus towards EVs. That means that sales of new diesel and petrol cars are likely to be phased out in the run-up to 2035. Dealerships will probably have a wider range of EVs and far fewer petrol and diesel cars available on forecourts than we’re currently used to. The Government suggests 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold from 2030 onwards will be zero emission.  

Can the National Grid support all EVs in the UK? 

Yes, most EV charging happens overnight when electricity is off-peak and there is already spare capacity in the UK’s electricity grid. It’s a similar situation here in Northern Ireland. Additionally, the UK Government plans to invest in nuclear energy and other low-carbon electricity generation to create extra capacity that will also support the increase in electric vehicle charging. 

Discover more about Electric Vehicles