At the start of this year’s first Budget statement in the Autumn, the Chancellor made clear that it was to be a “balanced budget”, which was both fiscally responsible but protected family incomes and jobs.
Reports earlier in the week from the Petrol Retailers Association suggested that the Chancellor was going to announce a 1p a litre rise in fuel duty on diesel for the first time in 7 years, alongside tax increases on the purchase of diesel cars confirmed by the Treasury a month ago.
Many experts regarded this as the nightmare scenario of a triple price hike in fuel duty, rising oil prices and tax hikes all at the same time.
Fuel duty frozen, car tax rises
To huge relief amongst Britain’s motorists the Chancellor opted to keep fuel duty frozen for the 8th year in a row, which is the longest time in 40 years that fuel duty has not changed, costing the Treasury a cool £46 billion in income.
Unfortunately, he did keep his promise of further taxation on diesel cars. Drivers of new diesel cars will now see an increase in road tax. They will be levied an increase in the first year of ownership on one tax band higher than those buying new petrol cars. Moving up a band for each diesel vehicle means motorists could be charged between £15 to £500 extra. The Treasury estimates that this change will raise £220 million that will be used to invest in a “clean air fund”, more on this later.
But there is an interesting sting in the tail of these road tax changes. The Chancellor also announced that new diesel cars are exempt from road tax increases if manufacturers implement new lower emission technology. We believe he is referring to super low emission diesel technology developed by companies such as Continental that delivers a 60% reduction in NO2 emissions and 4% fuel consumption improvement.
(Credit – Gio April)
Clean air fund
The £220 million raised from hiking diesel duty on new car purchases is going into a fund for cleaner air in towns and cities. The clean air fund is currently in consultation stages, but its purpose is to seek additional measures to support individuals and businesses affected by local NO2 reduction plans that will be rolled out at a local government and council level.
The fund is to support the implementation of local air quality plans by local governments and councils, while recognizing the potential impact on local businesses that these changes will make. The first indication of what these changes look like can be seen in London with the “T-charge” (toxicity charge) and Islington Council imposing a £2 additional charge for diesel cars parking in the Borough.
Concerns amongst local business owners in retail and hospitality is understandable if extra charges on diesel cars becomes prevalent across the UK. It’s bad enough that the gradual removal of free car parking and traffic control measures to reduce cars on high streets has moved footfall away to out of town locations, but to add in additional fees targeting diesel cars would be the final nail in the coffin for some businesses that rely on passing trade to survive.
Impact of the Budget on Business
In another change, the existing diesel supplement in company car tax is also going up by 1% and while this is a small change the key theme is to try to gently discourage companies with fleets to move away from providing fleets with diesel cars.
And for those who charge their electric car at work, this will no longer be a “benefit in kind” for tax purposes and they will be relieved of duty. This falls in line with other recent tax changes, where electric cars worth over £40,000 are now no longer exempt from road tax, which had been a tax loophole employed by companies.
And to add further cheer for Businesses, the tax increases will be on cars only, the Chancellor was keen to stress that “white van man” will not be impacted at all by any of the measures announced today, although what this means for those who use cars to drive for a living (such as taxi firms) means there is no exemption at all.
The main feeling that comes from the Budget is that it is still bad news but it could have been worse. Diesel drivers have been impacted, especially on buying new diesel cars and company car tax, but overall it won’t change behaviour. Fuel prices are going to rise anyway by between 4 to 12 pence per litre over the next 2 months, so freezing fuel duty didn’t relieve drivers, it was a token gesture.
PetrolPrices thinks that the Budget was more an adjustment rather than a change in policy on diesel to try to change buying behaviour. Diesel car drivers continue to be the Government’s focus tackling pollution when the reality its only 15% of the total NO2 impact. It feels as if the Government is scared to go after industries with big toxic emissions, road hauliers, public transportation and local councils to crack down on other leading causes of NO2 emissions. Targeting the car driver is the easy option because it doesn’t have the same level of union protection and lobbyist groups behind it as the other areas do and they can tax more easily.
What do you think of the Budget announcement and impact on you as a motorist? Do you think it was a “balanced budget” or do you think it has gone too far and added more tax than necessary? Let us know in the comments below.
Were we deliberately mislead by the government to buy diesel cars so they could then milk the buyers until they’re dry.
That suggests cunning long term planning by governments who knew they would be in power long enough to reap the benefits, not leave them for the opposition to benefit? So you are totally wrong.
I feel we were deliberately mislead to buy diesel cars so they could then milk the buyers dry.
I think we should be able to sue the giver over miss leading information regarding diesel cars. They encourage us to buy them then tell us we’re wrong for doing so…. I think the whole situation stinks
Ian, there is nothing to stop you Suing. Problem is who will you sue? And do you have you big pockets? A government cock up on encouraging the move to diesel, but done with the best possible intentions and not enough info. I drive a yr 2000 diesel. Road Fund tax this year £265.
In addition, it wasn’t this government that encouraged us to buy diesel – it was the Tony & Gordon show.
To suggest collusion between these governments is a bit far fetched, they cannot eve agree amongst themselves…
If every diesel driver chipped in a £1, some lawyers I’ll take it on. Misled by government, ppi would look like a drop in the ocean Lol
My marriage was on the same basis
They presumed that diesel was less polluting than petrol cos of the CO and CO2 emissions when it turns out NOx is worse than them all. so its a cock up by the gov again and they cant really backtrack when they gave incentives to buy diesels yrs ago
When will the government start to offer grants again to encourage people to lower petrol emissions by lpg converting their cars as these are still congestion charge free
Hi. LPG cars pay the congestion charge, it all changed a few years ago.
There’s no congestion charge in Cornwall. Perhaps there should be when the world and his uncle invade during the holiday season! ROFL
I have an older Volvo converted to LPG and get no concessions at all for using cleaner fuel, except of course prices at the pump
The government, have again, decided to punish people who have diesel cars.. They already put more tax on diesel to make it more expensive than petrol (even though it’s cheaper in other countries).. Let’s get people to buy diesel cars & then slap more tax on those that have them in the future… Yeah..nice one!! The same will probably happen when people go over to electric cars.. Encourage then punish.. They will lump an extra tax on somewhere at some point when they realise they’re losing revenue due to falling petrol & diesel revenue as sales of those cars fall..
Which tax would that be? Fuel duty for both diesel & petrol is the same @ 57.95p per litre. VAT is the same too. I think that you’ll find that it’s the filling stations that play with the prices we pay at the pumps.
considering the oil companies have to first of all find it, then extract it, refine it, & deliver it i think it pretty fair they pass on fluctuations to us. The g/ment on the other hand just fines us 69.5p for every ltr we use, for doing what? bugger all. Then of course rd tax! not even a shiny little round piece of paper to say you’ve paid up these days. If ever there was a cash cow it’s the British motorist, it’s not as if there are viable transport alternatives. Now where the fuck has my taxpayer funded chauffeur driven ministerial car got to?
I think you’re probably right!
The new tax applies to NEW cars only you muppet
However inaccurate a comment might be there is no call to be rude. Just point out what is the right answer.
And electric power is still polluting despite improvements in wind & solar power; gas coal & nuclear stil contribute more than natural power to the national grid; just that pollutants are ditched into the atmosphere away from connurbations
That may be true in the first few years, but over the life of the car it is far less polluting. Don’t fall into the trap of the quick fix arguments, consider the pollution produced over the longer term.
Will this increase tax on Diesel car owners make the air cleaner? NO. Wil it raise money for the government ? YES.
That’s what it’s all about ,raising money.
Yes it’s all about austerity although from where I’m sitting nothing seems to be too austere in the Houses of Parliament
I quite agree!
Well said mate! It’s so obvious…they’re screwing us over again …and again…and again…….
well someone has to pay for the houses of parliament to be repaired . guess who then ???
It’s alright saying that we should use the new technology like the Continental system for our diesel cars, but it is still in the development stage.
Is that the continental system as used by VOLKSWAGON.
I’m guessing but I think my car is not worth the tyres it is sitting on
I bought a new diesel car 3 years ago, the value has now gone down, if I sold it now to buy a petrol car I would lose over £10.000 this is so unfair
An otherwise identical petrol model of the same age and mileage is 10K more? Really?
Terry your car whatever it is will lose a minimum of 30% in 3 years and on most run of the mill cars nearer to 45/60%
Buy any car new and the value plummets, didn’t you realise that this applies to diesel and petrol and hybrid and electric cars?
there is no valid reason to charge extra for new diesels cars almost all are made to a far lower emissions then some petrol ones
Notice it’s only diesel car owners who get to pay more tax, not vans, lorries or buses, all of which cause far more damage to the environment and the air quality.
Couldn’t agree mire, there is absolutely no comparison between the emissions from my 2 year old diesel Mini Countryman and some of the old buses, lorries and vans on the road and yet I am the one that will be penalised.
Its most likely because the government have their sticky dirty little hands in the coffers of the BUS companies..
Of course Annoyed… once we are forced onto public transport then we can be hit with annual fare increases of many times the inflation rate as do train passengers every year…. and as the Government and councils have maneuvered a private company monopoly our alternative would be… Wee, there isnt one, we just have to pay.
no you will NOT!
It is ONLY those who buy NEW diesel cars. it’s paid when you tax it as a new car and it ONLY applies in the firs
Actually, extensive research has shown that an average diesel hatchback emits significantly more NOx and particulates than buses. Public transport vehicles are subject to far more stringent emissions regulations than private vehicles.
Ha ha…yeah right! Sit an average hatchback and a bus together and give them both a good rev….I wonder which one will produce the most exhaust fumes…..?
Buses may have more stringent emission tests but it doesnt stop the bus companies from flouting the law by removing the engine and replacing it with a spare one kept solely for the MOT. Speak to a bus mechanic,and he will tell you this is how they get them through the MOT.
This is absolute rubbish, I am a retired bus engineer, for a start there is no MOT as such a different kind of test is needed. To change an engine is a good days work and another to change it back again, bus engineers don’t have enough time as it is to keep the buses on the road let alone wasting 2 days swapping engines, RUBBISH
This is rubbish I worked in a bus garage and there was never an engine changed for an mot
It’s all very well and good taxing the diesel owners who were encouraged to by diesel in the first place, however forcing people down the electric route when only 25% of all energy used in the UK is from renewable sources. Until we sort this out then it’s actually more harmful at the moment for a mass exodus to electric powered cars. In addition to this the batteries are extremely dangerous and involve sucking the earth dry for a very poor range. Perhaps sort out the very poorly managed buses all over the country which would help massively. Jokers!!!
How much more misery can the average car drivers take ? Being ripped off , it’s ok for MP’s they get their expenses for travel paid. Penalizing diesel drivers is just an easy way of raising money .
Now that the fuel duty wasn’t raised, are we going to see the drop of the amazing 3 or 4 pence a litre that went on last weekend? Most of the petrol stations around my local area have had diesel and unleaded at the same price or within 1p of each other till Thursday or Friday when there suddenly was a change.
Where on earth are you? our fuel prices have done nothing but rise for the past 2 wks
I bet it would make no difference if i converted my car to run on vegetable oil!! the fact it says CAR is proof enough for the government to bend me over and make sure i take all.. .
It does not matter what anyone says about extra charges on diesel cars. It won’t stop any government from increasing charges. Instead if moaning about it, start a petition about it and target the Chancellor with it. A few hundred thousand signatures would hit them in the face. Then they might do something about buses etc. Fire engines and some police vehicles run on diesel don’t forget.
Oh I forgot. Those are exempt aren’t they?
No they are not, Civilian vehicles must meet the low emissions requirement, military and historic do not.
Yet another easy target for the government
The whole thing is a fiasco. I would actually be in favour of any additional taxation being on a litre of fuel, petrol and diesel. I drive a Mercedes C220d, my average mpg is 52 and I have squeezed 70 out of it on a run. How does that make me less treehuggy and green than someone in a petrol Corsa with a bean tin exhaust who can’t drive without either the accelerator or brake flat on the floor?
Let the eejits who really pollute pay whether it’s driving style, lack of maintenance or both.
I have also had a C220 and achieved similar results and changed it for the hybrid C350e. The battery only lasted 10 miles on a charge and in petrol mode I achieved an average of 34mpg. I do not see how this benefits the environment and is nowhere near what the manufacturer claimed. Only benefit was paying a fraction of the BIK tax.
Do you still believe in these fairy tales from manufacturers fuel consumption figures? Would you be interested in buying Tower Bridge?. It just happens that I’ve recently inherited it and have no use for it myself
Once again the car owner is penalised especially those of us who own diesel cars. Like so many others I bought a diesel after being encouraged by the government to do so and oh how that has backfired on me!!! I have nothing against people riding bicycles but why don’t they pay road tax and should be insured, I feel that would bring in a huge amount of money to help towards keeping our roads more worthy to drive on. Not that this has anything to do with diesel cars but I just wanted to vent my frustration!!
Don’t forget that most cyclists are drivers too so already pay in to the car taxation system (not that car tax pays towards the roads anyway). I ride a bike and run three cars (one diesel, two petrol) and also have 2 motorbikes. I only use one of them at a time but pay tax and insurance anyway for the 5 that have engines. I’m not complaining, just highlighting that the mode of transport you see a person in/on today isn’t necessarily the only one they have – I am also insured as a cyclist.
The Government already gets its slice of tax from me and most other cyclists – if it really wanted to cut emissions (and wasn’t just using drivers as a revenue stream) it wouldn’t be taxing cyclists anyway but encouraging them to ride more.
Nobody pays Road Tax, it was abolished in the 1930’s. The current system is based on a vehicle’s emissions. Bicycles, if they were included would be taxed at the same rate as electric vehicles. I’d be more concerned about the thousands of untaxed and uninsured drivers on our roads.
The new Vehicle Excise Duty introduced in April 2017 is more complicated than emissions alone. The first year of VED is based on emissions but it is a flat rate of £140/year after that. If you’re fortunate to be able to buy a car that costs £40,000 or more then you’ll have to pay an extra £310 per year, after the first year, but for five years only.
Only zero emission cars are VED free, unless they cost over £40,000, like the Tesla Model S.
Hybrids and LPG vehicles are about £10 per year less, whoopy doo dah eh!!
It’s all very complicated.
NO it was abolished sometime in the 1950s the ringfence was removed by Churchill in the 1930s who professed ‘a tax is a tax’ as will happen to this new tax.
I think the whole clean air thing is made up just as I think the ozone is a natural phenomenon and not man made, Plenty of scientists agree
If the Government were truly interested in not just lowering emissions but getting rid of them entirely they would be pushing manufacturers to develop Hydrogen Fuel vehicles, zero emissions to produce and use, to produce the fuel for electric cars fossil fuels still need to be used which in itself creates air pollution. Hydrogen fuelled London buses on route RV1 have been around for 11 years!!!!!
How do you get hydrogen without emissions? If it is produced by electrolysis it requires huge amounts of electricity. By methane-steam process the by products are carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, both greenhouse gases.
Wow! Does that route reach Sussex, or any other county in UK?
My electric car does not use diesel ho ho ho.
I have a sports car with a petrol engine and a range of 420 miles.
It takes about five minutes for a full “recharge”, Ho ho ho!!
Targeting diesel car owner is fundamentally wrong and very misleading, a much better fuel alternative at the pumps would have been much more of a statement that it was a green tax and not just a tax hick.
It’s a pity we can’t tax the government for polluting the atmosphere with their hot air
That’s putting it politely
Like many other drivers, I was influenced by the governments advice that buying diesel was the best way to go. Now they are penalising us for following their advice. Instead of manufacturers pretending to offer generous discounts for changing from diesel to petrol, the government should be giving diesel drivers20% tax relief year for 5 years to buy petrol or electric powered cars.
The first thing to say is that the cost of new cars has gone through the roof! It is crazy the price you have to pay for a new car. If the government were serious about this they should be forcing car manufacturers the reduce the initial price. Because let’s face it we all can not afford to buy a new car!
The incentives are there but it does not go far enough when the price of the car is so outrageous!
There are many people run older diesel cars because that’s all they can afford.
The whole thing needs a rethink.
Plus like mentioned earlier car drivers have no union presentation. Maybe this should be looked into.
Well the AA and the RAC just don’t have any teeth. They seem more interested in selling insurances to members than anything else. Give ’em teeth and perhaps they could be more effective as a motorist’s union.
I have just traded in my diesel car for a new petrol car based on what I now know to be scaremongering by the likes of this site. So what he has increased the duty on diesel by a penny. I wish I hadn’t bothered as my old diesel would have still been cheaper to run than what I’ve just bought.
The duty on petrol and diesel has not changed at all.
After persuading motorists to switch to diesel cars telling people it was better for the enviroment air quality etc.Those motorists me included buying expensive diesel cars are now being penalised for doing so with increases in road tax.I only hope like me they remember this when it comes to elections be it local or national level.Only intrest they have is looking after thereselves.
I did the same thing – bought a diesel car JUST before all this anti diesel came up – this being predicated on what happens in CITIES, not where I live, out in the sticks. Sure, I could go electric and lengthen my journeys by HOURS while I recharge the thing IF I can find a recharge point. I guess the AA/RAC etc will be able to ’emergency recharge’ the car if I get stuck with a flat battery because there’s power cut/diversion/road closure/strike……..Phttttt!
Think you need to drive the latest generation tractor & fuel it on RED diesel! Sorry for taking the p…s – you make a very valid point!
NEVILLE DALTON If there’s a power cut, you would not be able to get fuel from a petrol station either! The pumps are powered by electricity!!!! So stop your whingeing and go electric
Dave The problem is the range the full electric car has. Its no good for buses or lorries and still causes pollution at power stations.
Good point, but every successive government be it Left / Right or middle has failed to adopt an effective transport strategy since the 1920’s!
All politicians are after the same thing MONEY
Another way stealing legally from citizens is who has diesel cars.
Now the congestion charge, more on parking charge and more on road tax.
I think it is disgusting.
They want you to vote for them, however, once they are in power your vote does not interest them any more.
Stop voting for the same ones and try UKIP for once.
All politicians are greedy pox infested liars who only line their own greasy pockets I would bet that if they run a diesel they will not be affected.
Are aeroplanes going to be taxed on emissions then, or is it just the motorists again, if diesel cars are going to have to pay more to park in London are the planes going to pay more to fly over London.
Is that what you want so that you holiday costs sore?
How about covering the country in concrete to run your car on. Concrete is one of the most polluting products on the planet.
So not raising fuel duty by a couple of pence per litre will cost the Treasury £46 billion then? So how much are they making if the fuel duty is 57.95 per litre? Also if manufacturers are talking about making nearly all cars electric where will the Treasury get their untold billions of ponds from then? One thing is certain they definitely won’t go short Electricity may be very efficient and clean but most processes used to generate it are only about 30efficient and produce huge amounts of Carbon Dioxide and pollutants.
Sorry that should read 30% efficient
Once again the Govt “fixing” an urban problem unilaterally without thinking of the consequences for those of us who live and work in the country and need diesel vehicles.
why don’t we buy white vans then we will be ok
This won’t do. I should be pushed to get rid of my 8 yr old diesel, but road tax is only £30. If I buy a new and much cleaner one, I will have to pay way more. Sorry guys, dirty diesel needs to be taxed out of existence.
disgraceful – the country is desperate for revenue after nearly 10 years of austerity and what does he do about killer diesel – nothing the fuel duty should have risen. Diesel owners were mislead and the makers should be coughing up billions in compensation
Sold my small petrol car and emptied my savings and moved to a large diesel as we were told they were better for co2 output not to mention for a extra £20 a year on the tax I was getting double the MPG. But now the government wants to penalises me for driving a car they now class as dirty. All well and good they have insentives to buy new non diesel cars but I can’t afford a new car. I’ve just skinted myself buying a new battery. I feel very deceived by the government
Your road tax is not going up. The higher tax rates are for brand new cars only.
There is no incentive for commercial users of diesel to reduce pollution : eg road haulage, bus & coach, rail freight & shipping which when aggregated outweighs usage of diesel for cars!
When is this unbalanced approach going to redressed. Make a start by banning foreign lorries from the UK; would avoid use of poorer quality diesel fuel, and foreign drivers who are unfamiliar with driving on the “wrong” side of the road, thus improving road safety at a stroke whilst improving UK employment prospects.
FYI new diesel locomotives now have to pass emissions tests. An advantage of electric cars and trains is that they can return electricity to their batteries or overhead supply during braking. You don’t have to have overhead wiring or third rail to have electric trains – they are trying out battery trains in East Anglia and battery trams in Birmingham. As for hydrogen, where are the hydrogen mines?
PS trucks also have emissions standards, I believe they are now on Level 6. The government pays truckers to upgrade emissions reducing equipment, which they don’t do for me.
Even easier, you just scoop it up on the Sun – probably use it all trying to ‘escape’ back to Earth 🙁
I think the government have confirmed the car driver is the easy target, if diesel emissions was that important to them, why have they cancelled the electrification of the main railway line from London to Swansea, so that it now ends at Cardiff and the trains will have to run on diesel power to complete the journey.
I don’t understand it, I just bought my wife a pre registered Citroen Picasso 1.6 diesel and we were told that it would be about £30.00 to tax due to low emissions. when we taxed it at the dealer it turned out to be free much to the dealers surprise. whats going on? how can they be one thing and then taxed at zero?
The government of the day years ago pleaded with us to buy Diesel cars which lots of us did only to find a few years later are now being ripped off. Not a lot is being said about lorries,busses,coaches,these must be putting out more bad emissions than the cars.They say they are not going to attack them this is not right,GET THE NORMAL MAN IN THE STREET AGAIN.Its time the government started to look at and listen to the man in the street,most of the people in government haven’t got a clue of life of a normal family.
People won’t buy Diesel, so what will happen?
If the government were serious on pollution and renewable energy they would have encouraged the availability of bio diesel at the pumps,. It had limited availability at best and has now totally disappeared. Electric is NOT the way to go! The lithium in the batteries us very difficult to mine and is not abundant, energy is required to charge them so the vehicles are by no means zero emission. Hydrogen fuel cell is the way forward, but the government already know this and in 10 years time the “sheep” in their electric vehicles will be hounded by the chancellor just as diesel owners are now!
I have an idea. Why doesn’t everybody pay road tax for using the roads?
We shouldn’t be calling it “road tax”. it’s vehicle excise duty and is not spent on roads, more’s the pity.
Massively cynical. Only company car drivers pay extra tax on diesel. At the same time Govt propose new rail lines running diesels because electrification is ‘too expensive’. They are a bunch of outrageous hypocrites. I’m beginning to think that anarchy is the only answer to all our political problems. At least we’d be rid of this bunch of shysters.
Ah but then the government can charge a pollution tax on passengers using that service.
Let’s not forget that it was the manufacturers who lied and manipulated efficiency figures and based on these results governments encouraged us to buy diesel. We, the motorists, bought in good faith vehicles that were mis-sold. Now whilst the fat cats get richer we are screwed. It is the manufacturers who should be paying to sort this out instead our own government is going to invest billions in the driverless car industry and you can bet that the same companies who have screwed us over diesel will be the same ones making billions from driverless cars that we have subsidised.
After misleading the car buying public into changing from petrol to diesel as they claimed them to be better for our heath and the environment does the government really expect Joe Public to change yet again on their say-so?
Great if you really want to invest in the next big pollution nightmare. More batteries on the road means more toxic scrap heaps . If you want to be truly green change to hydrogen and convert your present car engine to a real green technology!!!
I hear the motorcycle industry are planning a new all electric motor cycle the battery has a life expectancy of 10 years, what then do you replace the battery? No throw the whole bike away and buy another, sounds very green
We listened to Gordon Brown and bought Diesel cars and this from someone who couldn’t even drive. Then he hammered us with taxes and every other increase he could think of with his war criminal friend Tony “I’m a liar Blair. Now this lot are just doing the same because the tree huggers and sandal freaks say so. If the city is too much for you there are plenty of deserts and jungles for you to live your weird lives in
Well said mate
We were encouraged to buy diesel vehicles; first diesel fuel costs rose higher than petrol and now we’re being penalised with higher road tax. I can’t afford to change my vehicle and who would buy a second hand diesel car anyway The clean air fund paid for by my road tax increase will now prevent me from driving freely around the UK how is this fair?!!
Doesn’t affect the VED on your current diesel vehicle, only discourages you from buying a new diesel.
What on earth is the point of hitting diesel car drivers and not anyone else ?? surely the point of dealing with toxiticy is to deal with it across the board, anybody been stuck behind a town center bus lately belching fumes aaarghh ????