What’s Changed in the Car Industry in 2020 So Far?

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At the start of this year if you’d have asked us what we thought 2020 had in store for the automotive industry we definitely wouldn’t have predicted a global pandemic. Who would have thought we’d have experienced driving restrictions, delayed MOTs and driving licence renewals and ultimately a pause of international car making? Not us! With this said though, lots has still happened so far and there’s still plenty to come.

Road Tax

This year has seen an age-old change to road tax. Every UK car owner must pay vehicle excise duty (VED), commonly known as road tax. Historically the amount paid varies based upon engine size, fuel type and CO2 emission levels. Before April 2020, the system used to calculate this was called the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). However, from 1st April, a new way to measure fuel emissions was introduced called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) meaning if you have bought or are planning to buy a new following this date, you will pay your car tax value according to this new system. Find out what this could mean for you here.

*Older car owners, do not fear Road tax for cars registered before 31st March 2017 will continue to be based on their NEDC emissions figures.

Drive Now, Pay Later with Klarna

We’ve all heard of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ and payment providers such as ClearPay and Klarna have been disrupting the retail market for a while. But never did we think we’d see the day that these payment options would extend out to the automotive industry. Check out Klarna’s website where they list all the automotive retailers or businesses that they provide delayed payment options for.

Nationwide car dealership Arnold Clark have in fact introduced Klarna as a payment option for their servicing, MOTs and repairs. Although maybe not an option every business would want to go down, some have stated their reasoning being that it’s always best to get your car repaired as soon as possible, as opposed to leaving it and it incurring more expensive costs further down the line. With flexible payment options allowing customers to spread the cost over 3, 6 or 12 months depending on the value of the work carried out it could mean more people fixing problems sooner rather than later.

Award-Winning Cars

As with every year, there’s a number of accolades handed out to celebrate great cars and van on the market. This years so far have included:

  • Peugeot 208 – European Car of the Year 2020
  • Renault Master – Van of the Year 2020
  • Ford Puma – What Car? Car of the Year 2020


The long term effects of the global pandemic on the car dealership industry are still not confirmed, however recent research from What Car? has interestingly shown that one-in-five new car buyers say their budget has increased as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and more than 10 per cent of those buyers were now considering a more premium brand than they had been before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Although many car manufacturers and showrooms were forced to close their doors during uncertain times, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel as manufacturing has been able to restart, and with the help of virtual car demos and showrooms they’re finding a way to introduce a new normal to meet demand. The research also showed that buyers are not desperate to make a purchase, with more than a third saying that they are waiting to make a purchase to see if there are any post-pandemic government incentives.

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