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Perfect storm leads to demand for new cars exceeding supply


Perfect storm of problems leads to demand for new cars exceeding supply, with waiting times for new VW T-Roc R now 14 weeks, says RAY MASSEY

We’re long used to waiting for buses, but the waiting list for cars is now proving just as frustrating. 

A perfect storm of problems — a shortage of key microprocessor chips, the effects of Covid, the war in Ukraine — has led to demand for new cars exceeding supply. 

This, in turn, has seen the price of nearly new and other used cars soaring as consumers seek a new set of wheels. 

Join the queue: Waiting times for the new VW T-Roc R are now 14 weeks

Join the queue: Waiting times for the new VW T-Roc R are now 14 weeks

Research by car warranty experts MotorEasy has used Department for Transport data and factory order waiting periods from car dealerships to reveal that among the UK’s top-selling cars, Nissan’s Sunderland-built Qashqai, priced from £25,505, has the shortest waiting time of 13 weeks.

For electric cars, that’s matched by the Hyundai Ioniq, for which you’ll also wait three months. 

Among petrol and diesel cars, next shortest wait is for the Volkswagen T-Roc (enhanced models from £25,000), and BMW 3 Series (all 14 weeks); Volkswagen Polo and Kia Sportage (both 20 weeks); Ford Kuga and Puma (both 22 weeks); VW Tiguan (24 weeks) and the VW Golf (25 weeks). 

Among electric cars, the next shortest waits are: the Tesla Model 3 (14 weeks); Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-2008 (both 22 weeks). MotorEasy chief executive Duncan McClure Fisher said: ‘The waiting list for cars is at an all-time high. 

‘With delays caused by the ongoing global pandemic and staff absence, the semiconductor shortages, and now the crisis in Ukraine, buyers are waiting longer and longer for new vehicles to make it onto the roads.’ It comes as the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK car manufacturing declined by 32.4 per cent to 207,347 during the first three months of this year. 

That means almost 100,000 fewer vehicles were made than in the same period last year. So it’s no wonder there are delays. 

My advice is to get your orders in early.

Fury over MoT proposal 

Motorists and car groups have reacted with fury to Government proposals to make annual vehicle MoT roadworthiness checks every two years — to ease the cost of living crisis in Britain.

Critics said the measure — while ‘well intentioned’ — would put lives at risk by allowing dangerous vehicles on the road, and was putting a modest cash saving ahead of life-saving road safety. 

Safety first: The £55 annual MoT vehicle check is currently required when a new car reaches three years old

Safety first: The £55 annual MoT vehicle check is currently required when a new car reaches three years old

The £55 annual MoT vehicle check is currently required when a new car reaches three years old. It is designed to ensure a car meets the minimum safety standard. 

The RAC said it ‘would see a dramatic increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles and could make our roads far less safe.’ 

Data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show that nearly a third (30.3 per cent) of cars and vans fail the test at the first attempt.

Choice of electric cars in 15-fold increase since 2011

Consumers have seen a 15-fold increase in electric car models available to buy since 2011. 

Their battery range is also three times that of a decade ago, says research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

But further uptake is likely to be stifled as 40 per cent of homes lack a parking space and the UK faces a shortage of public charging points. 

Green shoots: Britain's first mass-produced battery electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, was launched in 2011

Green shoots: Britain’s first mass-produced battery electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, was launched in 2011

When Britain’s first mass-produced battery electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf was launched in 2011, just nine plug-in models were available in the UK — making up fewer than one in 1,000 total registrations. 

Today, there are more than 140 plug-in models and they account for about one in five new cars sold this year, with a further 50 models to be launched by the year end. 

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