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Customers rush to beat price increases and road tax hike

Car dealership Pebley Beach is experiencing a rush of budget-conscious customers hoping to save hundreds of pounds before a double-whammy of car cost increases.

The increase in the price of automobiles follows the slump in the value of the Pound following last summer’s Brexit vote.

The low Pound makes imports – everything from clothes to food – more expensive for British consumers.

Meanwhile, motorists who buy before April will also save money on their road tax. Most models sold by Pebley Beach currently cost their customers nothing or very little in Vehicle Excise Duty.

But a government shake-up means tax discs will go up in the new financial year.

Pebley Beach MD Dominic Threlfall was on Sky News last week to explain the causes of the increases to reporter Rebecca Williams.

The interview was broadcast live on Sky News, and on Facebook Live, which enabled viewers to pose their own questions to Dom in real time.

Many viewers asked whether high import tariffs would be a boon to British manufacturers.

But Dom responded that even cars assembled in Great Britain – like Swindon’s Honda, Oxford’s Mini, or Sunderland’s Nissan – are being affected by the cost of parts, many of which are imported from abroad.

“In the mass market, there’s no such thing as a purely British car,” he said.

The anticipated price increase has not yet reached Pebley Beach, which is the franchise holder for Hyundai and Suzuki in the Swindon area, although other marques were already putting up their prices.

“A weakening of 10 percent in the value of the Pound means a car that cost £20,000 before June costs £22,000 now,” said Dom.

However, the blow might be softened as 80 percent of consumers buy their vehicles on a rental / purchase plan, rather than outright, which means small increases to monthly payments, rather than a bigger lump sum at the point of purchase. 

And while no-one – even Dom – knows when the price of Hyundais and Suzukis will go up, the increase in road tax does have a definite date. 

The changes were brought in by former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, as a response to falling CO2 emissions from new cars.

Vehicle Excise Duty was based on emissions – and manufacturers had become so good at producing low-emission cars that most new car owners paid no tax at all, costing the Treasury millions of pounds every year.

So from April 1 new cars will be taxed at between zero and £2,000 for the first year, and £140 thereafter. Only cars that produce no CO2 emissions at all will enjoy the £0 tax disc.

The full 12-minute feature can be viewed online at

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Financial Disclosure

Pebley Beach Limited is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd’s permissions as a Principal Firm allows Pebley Beach Limited to act as a credit broker, not as a lender, for the introduction to a limited number of lenders and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance distribution activities only.

We can introduce you to a selected panel of lenders, which includes manufacturer lenders linked directly to the franchises that we represent. An introduction to a lender does not amount to independent financial advice and we act as their agent for this introduction. Our approach is to introduce you first to the manufacturer lender linked directly to the particular franchise you are purchasing your vehicle from, who are usually able to offer the best available package for you, taking into account both interest rates and other contributions. If they are unable to make you an offer of finance, we then seek to introduce you to whichever of the other lenders on our panel is able to make the next best offer of finance for you. Our aim is to secure the best deal you are eligible for from our panel of lenders. Lenders may pay a fixed commission to us for introducing you to them, calculated by reference to the vehicle model or amount you borrow. Different lenders may pay different commissions for such introductions, and manufacturer lenders linked directly to the franchises that we represent may also provide preferential rates to us for the funding of our vehicle stock and also provide financial support for our training and marketing. But any such amounts they and other lenders pay us will not affect the amounts you pay under your finance agreement, all of which are set by the lender concerned. If you ask us what the amount of commission is, we will tell you in good time before the Finance agreement is executed. All finance applications are subject to status, terms and conditions apply, UK residents only, 18’s or over. Guarantees may be required.