Why a no deal Brexit just made renting/leasing a van or car your only sensible option

At the time of writing, we have just five weeks to agree a deal with the EU before we leave on WTO rules. But if you’re planning on a buying a car, what does that actually mean?

Map of European Countries

This isn’t a Brexit piece about the pros or cons of Brexit. But it is a Brexit piece about what happens should the UK fail to agree a deal along (roughly) the same terms auto-manufacturers currently enjoy.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and as reported in The Guardian, no deal will add £1,500 to the cost of a car made in the EU and bought in Britain. For the reverse position, a UK car bought in the EU, it could add as much as £2,700.

Upping the ante even more, Porsche announced recently that its vehicles would cost 10% more under a no deal scenario.

Muddy waters

Fine, you might say, I’ll just buy British. Of course, there are no mainstream British car marques left that are wholly UK owned, and few that are wholly UK manufactured. But before you put that deposit down on a new TVR (impractical as a transit van but at least it’s British), you might consider Honda, Nissan, Mini or Jaguar Land Rover. Except all of those companies have announced – or are reported as considering – reducing UK operations. Honda announced the end of its Swindon plant as I was finishing the above sentence.

Granted, Brexit is not the only factor in those decisions. It may well not even be the major factor in those decisions. But it’s part of the cocktail of uncertainty (together with faltering car markets, diesel confusion and more) that is making car and van ownership a bit of a high stakes gamble at present.

Hire, not higher

So if your current car, van or fleet is due for replacement post March 29, the smart money would seem to be on waiting and seeing, because if a deal isn’t done by then, it’s likely some form of new trade agreement will be thrashed out over the following months. Until then, car and van rental – especially flexible van leasing that lets you hand back the vehicle at a moment’s notice (as soon as the deal is struck and prices drop) – seems to be the only way to avoid becoming stuck paying over the odds for a vehicle that’s likely to cost less again soon.

Find out more about flexible car or van leasing.

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