The headline news from the announcement of the Government’s air quality strategy is all about the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 onwards. 

What does this mean for the car you own and might want to sell in a few years’ time – and what does it mean if you can’t stretch to a new car, and only ever buy used?

The answer to that might seem to be ‘not much’. Petrol and diesel cars will one day become obsolete, that much is for certain – with or without legislation, that was always going to be the case, and there’s currently some debate as to whether the new rules will actually have any effect, or whether organic change will happen well before 2040 anyway.

But it isn’t that big, attention-grabbing headline that should be of most concern to used car buyers. More worrying is the effective licence the air quality strategy gives to councils to charge older vehicle owners for driving their cars into city centres.

Granted, the Government’s stance on this is that it should be used as a last resort – but given the seeming keenness of councils around the country to enforce this sort of legislation (no less than 27 British towns and cities have proposed or been given the go-ahead to create clean air zones), I wouldn’t bet against it.