Post-Brexit tariffs could add £1500 to cost of every new car sold in Britain

Published: 30 November 2016

► Tariffs could increase car prices
► SMMT warns of £1500 inflation
► Warnings over EU Brexit tariffs

Post-Brexit tariffs could add £1500 to the cost of every new car bought in the UK if no special deal is brokered, a car industry body has warned.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that were a 10 percent tariff applied to vehicles imported to Britain, the cost would inevitably be passed on to customers. 

CEO Mike Hawes said: ‘The costs would be significant - a 10% tariff would add £2.7 billion to the total cost of cars sold.

‘That could lead to a significant fall in the car market.’

Exports would be hit, too

Hawes’ speech at the annual SMMT dinner warned that exports – the lifeblood of UK car manufacturing – would be hit hard. Nearly 80 percent of the 1.6 million cars built in Britain are exported.

The trade chief said that were tariffs charged on cars built in Britain and sold abroad, it could add a further £1.8bn to the industry’s bills.

Brexit and new car sales in the UK

‘How could we remain competitive with that level of cost?’ he asked. ‘It could spell the end for our industry.’

Why the UK's car makers wanted to stay in

A post-Brexit future for the car industry

The SMMT is calling for Britain to remain in the single market, if and when Article 50 is triggered and the country prepares to leave the EU.

Without access to the single market, World Trade Organisation tariffs of 10 percent could be applied to car sales unless a special deal is struck with trading partners.

However, ministers are hopeful that the UK’s appetite for foreign-built cars will mean fair trading deals can be struck with partners such as Germany and France.

Click here for our guide to how Brexit will affect the UK industry

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet