What Happens to Car Owners if Great Britain Leaves the EU?

June 6, 2016

Great Britain’s possible exit from the European Union (dubbed “The Brexit”) has raised a lot of questions. Many of those questions deal with the serious domestic and international geopolitical consequences of an exit.

Then there are those small/not so small issues that affect the average person such as “How is the Brexit going to affect car ownership?” Yes, motorists will have to deal with a few issues if the Brexit goes through. Would it be bad for car owners? Actually, there are some pros and cons – but there seems to be mostly cons.

One major drawback would be the increase in prices on cars. Imports and exports are not going to have the same trade deals in place if Britain leaves the EU. Imported vehicles may come with higher costs and consumers would be forced to pay more or go the route of purchasing used vehicles.

There could be a very negative effect on petrol prices. An increase in petrol prices impacts all motorists, even those who buy used cars or hold onto older models purchased years ago. Here is an economic issue to weigh: High petrol prices cause opportunity losses. In other words, money that is drained from a budget to pay for higher fuel costs is money not spent elsewhere in the home or office or put into long-term savings.

A few pros do exist though.

Leaving the EU would give British citizens far more autonomy related to laws regarding taxes, insurance regulations, and other matters. These laws would not be diluted through an EU governing body and, for many, this is the most important benefit beyond cheaper financial costs.

Also worth pointing out is there are other factors that could cause negative consequences even if Great Britain remains in the EU. For example, petrol prices could increase whether or not the Brexit occurs. Global oil market prices play a role in that outcome rather than whether the UK is in or out.

Generally the consensus of opinion is car owners would have an easier time if the Brexit never occurs. We’ll just have to wait and see!