Emissions Based Road Tax Changes for Older Cars Expected

A likely postponement of road tax increases for cars bought before 2006 has been welcomed by the Environmental Transport Association (ETA).

Changes announced in the last Budget meant that from 2009, all cars that had been on the road since 2001 would face rises in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), but it now appears likely that next week's Pre-Budget Report will announce that the retrospective emissions-based tax will be postponed.

Director at the ETA, Andrew Davis said: “Higher-polluting cars should face some form of punitive taxation, but it is vital that green taxes are seen as well thought through and fair it's questionable whether such a sharply-increased retrospective tax will ever be seen in that way.”

The VED changes would have affected almost 70 per cent of Britain's 26 million drivers, but it was the retrospective aspect of the tax that most infuriated MPs of all parties.

The ETA believes that an equitable alternative to road tax would be national road user charging, for not only would such a system cut congestion and thereby help reduce emissions, it would save motorists money as there would no longer be any need for fuel duty or vehicle excise duty; most roads, most of the time, have no congestion, so many people would pay less.

11 November 2008 Staff

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