Electric vehicles and net zero rules have left British drivers 'susceptible to rogue traders and scams'

Electric vehicles and net zero rules have left British drivers 'susceptible to rogue traders and scams'

WATCH: James May gives his honest opinion on electric cars

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 02/04/2024

- 11:45

The transition to net zero, including the uptake of EVs, could be worth £1trillion by 2030

The switch to electric vehicles and the mission to decarbonise transport could be leaving drivers at risk of being scammed, according to a new report.

By 2035, all vehicles produced by major brands will be electric, as part of the Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate.

It follows the Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035, a five-year delay from the initial deadline.

However, the move to zero emission vehicles could see drivers put at risk when looking to ditch their internal combustion engine cars.

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Electric car charging

The report warned that drivers looking to switch to an EV could fall victim to a scam


A new manifesto from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) highlighted how the “drive towards net zero” could open up new markets and complex markets.

Despite this, it warned: “The high costs of green home-improvement products and electric vehicles have left consumers susceptible to rogue traders and scams.

“At a time when levels of consumer detriment are increasing, access to justice remains beyond the reach of many consumers.

“We therefore need to equip consumers with the ability to make informed decisions and thereby avoid problems.”

The CTSI said a number of changes needed to be introduced to ensure consumers would be protected, businesses could innovate, and the economy could continue to grow.

One potential option could include introducing licensing schemes for home improvement, motor vehicles and green energy businesses.

It highlighted how the transition to net zero, including the uptake of electric vehicles, could be worth £1trillion over the next five years.

The report also stated that the transition to electric vehicles and other net zero measures like heat pumps and solar panels are still too expensive to become a widespread option for all Britons.

A report from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) took aim at businesses accused of “greenwashing” where they can make false or overstated claims.

Further research from Citizens Advice in 2021 estimated that more than 19 million adults across the UK could have been targeted by a "green scam" in the past year, with an estimated 5.2 million victims impacted by them.

The CTSI said the second-hand car market has consistently been one of the most complained about industry sectors in the UK over the last decade.

It pointed to rogue dealers selling cheap, clocked or unroadworthy cars which can often target the most financially vulnerable consumers.


Electric car charging

There are more than one million electric vehicles on the road across the UK


Over four years, National Trading Standards supported cross-regional activities to disrupt the most complained about used car traders and prevented £1.9million worth of money from being handed over to potential scammers.

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