Which countries are banning fossil fuel car sales, and when?

James McCay

Oct 13, 2022

Fossil fuel cars, like the dinosaurs that power their engines, will one day be a thing of the past. Countries around the world are phasing out fossil fuel vehicles like petrol and diesel engines in favour of hybrid and electric cars.

Many nations across the world have set dates for when new petrol and diesel cars will no longer be available for purchase. Countries that are lagging behind when it comes to setting a date are facing increasing pressure to take similar action.

Will the banning of fossil fuel cars affect car insurance?

With the clock ticking for motoring enthusiasts who prefer internal combustion over electric and hybrid vehicles, it may be comforting to know that insurance will still be available for petrol and diesel cars. Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor, explains what a post-fossil fuel ban world might look like for insurance customers.

“These laws are only going to affect new vehicle sales, not second-hand cars, so there will still be petrol and diesel vehicles on the road and there will still be a need for car insurance just as there is today,” says Taylor.

“The ban is likely to have very little impact at all on the pricing and availability of car insurance, as it doesn’t change the risk factors insurance companies base their prices on.”

Whether your car is electric, a hybrid or old-fashioned internal-combustion engine, make sure you consider car insurance so that you’re financially covered if something goes wrong.

The countdown is on

We’ve put together a visual guide to which countries are banning new petrol and diesel car sales. We’ve focused on countries that have enacted nationwide legislation (or are subject to legislation in the case of the European Union) or announced official strategies, action plans and targets with a year where all new cars for sale will be electric/have zero emissions. This means that some countries which have plans for a set percentage of new passenger vehicle sales – but not 100% of all sales – are listed as blank. Our map also focuses on passenger cars for private sale specifically and does not include countries that have outlined plans to electrify other means of transport like public transport or heavy freight.

Norway just a few years away from deadline

The Scandinavian nation of Norway has been at the forefront of the push to have the majority of their vehicles be emissions-free, and their deadline of 2025 is just around the corner. Over half the cars sold in the country each year are now electric, and by the end of 2021 there were almost half a million electric cars in the country, accounting for over 15% of all passenger cars.1

While Norway is in the lead, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Israel and Malaysia are not far behind, with each nation targeting 100% emissions-free new car sales by 2030.

On the flipside, Brazil is in no rush, giving themselves until 2060 to phase out new internal combustion passenger car sales. Other nations taking their time include Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, Indonesia, New Zealand and Switzerland, who’ve set their deadline for 2050.

Australia and America lacking national target for full ban on fossil fuel vehicles

Many countries have listed official strategies or introduced legislation to ban new fossil fuel vehicle sales from a certain date. Two nations conspicuous by their absence from that list are the United States and Australia.

While a few states within the USA have already moved to ban new fossil fuel car sales, such as California and New York, President Joe Biden announced on 5 August 2021 a plan to have 50% of new vehicle sales from 2030 be electric – but there is no date on any plan to have 100% of new vehicle sales be electric or hybrid-powered.2

Likewise, Australia has no national plan or date to completely ban new fossil fuel vehicle sales. However, that hasn’t stopped the Australian Capital Territory. The Territory unveiled a new plan on 20 July 2022 to phase out light petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2035 (including passenger cars and light trucks), which would instead be replaced by zero-emission vehicles.3

Less than one month later, Bank Australia became the first bank to announce it would stop issuing new loans for petrol and diesel cars from 2025, as part of the bank’s own emission reduction targets.4

Most countries have until 2035 before fossil-fuel car sales will be relegated to the second-hand market, which from time of writing is less than 13 years away – which is still plenty of time for prospective buyers to buy what will inevitably be a piece of history.

A stylised image of cars driving on a road with heavy exhaust fumes.


  1. Registered vehicles. Statistics Norway. Government of Norway. 2022.
  2. FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Steps to Drive American Leadership Forward on Clean Cars and Trucks. The White House, Government of the United States of America. 2021.
  3. Nation leading action to drive zero emissions vehicle uptake in the ACT. Chief Minister and Minister for Climate Action, Andrew Barr, Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury, Australian Capital Territory Government. 2022.
  4. Bank Australia to cease loans for new fossil fuel cars from 2025. Bank Australia. 2022.