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Trend to electric and hybrid cars continues amid car sales slump

Trend to electric and hybrid cars continues amid car sales slump

Monday 13 February 2023

Trend to electric and hybrid cars continues amid car sales slump

Monday 13 February 2023

The number of electric and hybrid cars on Guernsey's roads have tripled in the last two years, although they still make up only a small fraction of the estimated 65,100 vehicles in circulation.

By the end of last year there were 2,439 electric and hybrid cars being used, and a further 268 electric vans.

Statistics also revealed that new car sales fell to new lows, down from 2,175 new private cars being registered in 2018 to 1,299 last year.

“When we look at the high-level trends over the last few years, we’re seeing a marked increase in the number of electric and hybrid vehicles being registered in Guernsey,” said Environment & Infrastructure President Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez.

“This trend is therefore moving in a positive direction in terms of playing our part in addressing climate change and demonstrating that we can meet our international obligations.”


Pictured: Electric vehicles in circulation in Guernsey.

Guernsey introduced a fee for when new or second hand vehicles are first registered on the island in 2015 in a bid to help fund the transport strategy and discourage people from buying more polluting vehicles.

The amount it raises has been falling, from £1,230,230 in 2019 to £956,960.

In response, and with States revenues under pressure, Policy & Resources’s 2023 Budget introduced increases which included the least polluting vehicles for the first time.

"To encourage continued reductions of emissions from transport, the registration duty rates reflect the polluter pays principle. When people are choosing between vehicles, we hope that the relatively small amount of duty for lower emission vehicles will encourage them think carefully about the type of vehicle they choose, when they could opt to pay £50 instead of £1,500,” said Deputy de Sausmarez

Deputy Lindsay De Sausmarez

Pictured: E&I  president Lindsay de Sausmarez.

“Higher duty for more polluting vehicles is just one way to support the shift in consumer trends towards low emission vehicles. It’s encouraging to see that people are switching to electric vehicles for many reasons, whether that’s because they find it more economical or because they want to make a personal effort to reduce their emissions.

“Our committee is tasked with delivering the States’ agreed policies on climate change and the transport strategy and we continue to encourage this transition so that we head in the right direction, and at pace.”

Emissions from road transport have been trending downwards in Guernsey. They peaked in 1997 and have fallen every year since 2009. 


Pictured: Transport emissions.

While the total number of vehicles registered in Guernsey by the end of the year was 88,198, the actual numbers in use is believed to be much lower because there is little incentive to deregister once someone stops using them.

First registration duty is divided into six bands depending on emissions or engine size when they are not available.

For the last three years people have tended to register either the least polluting, band one, or most polluting vehicles, band six.

Band six registrations have risen each year since 2022.


Pictured: New and second-hand vehicle's registered for the first time by duty bands from least to highest polluting.

Guernsey’s car sales trends are mirroring the UK.

There, new car registrations fell last year to their lowest levels in three decades with productions lines being hit by parts shortages. Electric vehicle demand was growing, accounting for almost a fifth of new car sales.

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