UK bans new sales of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035

Published: 04 February 2020

► UK engine ban moves to 2035
► Now includes hybrid cars
► Applies to new car sales

The UK Government has confirmed that it will ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035 after opening the 26th United Nations climate change conference.

The plans are a bigger step than its original commitment of 2040, which didn’t include electrified vehicles at the time. 

In fact, that time frame for a ban could be moved further forward than that, according to the Government, if the take-up transition of electric cars is developing. 

Should I buy a diesel car? 

At the confirmation of the plan, transport secretary Grant Shapps said ‘we want to go further than ever before. That’s why we are bringing forward our already ambitious target.’

Mike Hawes, chief exec of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, added ‘it is extremely concerning that government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue. It’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment.’

Best electric cars

Does this mean my current car will be scrapped by 2035?

The Government wants to ban new car sales powered by petrol and diesel engines from 2035. Existing car stock will, presumably, merely be taxed to the hilt by then, but ministers want to ensure that all brand-new cars are powered by electricity only, not fossil fuels.

Exhaust pipe

This is, of course, the natural direction of travel anyway; electrification is already well underway, so the Government is merely confirming an inevitable industry trend.

Why is the UK banning diesel and petrol cars?

Ministers claim that 40,000 premature deaths each year are caused by pollution and the wide-ranging measures are designed to clean up Britain's air quality.

There are more immediate changes than the 2035 ICE ban; there is a new £255m fund to encourage local councils to tackle emissions, encourage public transport and - potentially - set up charging zones for the dirtiest vehicles.

By Jake Groves

CAR's staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches