The UK will, from April 2018, increase the amount of tax paid by those registering a diesel car for the first time that does not meet the latest emissions standards, the UK finance minister has revealed.
To be more specific, the UK’s Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for those registering new diesel cars will be raised yet again — a further sign of the UK government’s desire to discourage the purchase of diesel cars, and thus to help reduce the growing air pollution problems in the region.
As it stands, diesel car sales in the UK (the second biggest auto market in Europe) have already fallen 15% this year — with petrol/gasoline-powered car sales only rising 3% in the same time, interestingly.
Explaining the motive for the change, UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond stated: “The tax system can play an important role in protecting our environment. … We owe it to our children that the air they breathe is clean.”
“The change will add £20 ($27) to the cost of VED for smaller models which fail to meet more stringent standards whilst those driving some larger vehicles could pay hundreds of pounds more. The extra cost will not apply to next-generation clean diesels which are certified as meeting emissions limits in real driving conditions, the government said,” Reuters reports.
“But a car industry body said it would take time to bring forward the latest technology and the measure would do nothing to decrease the number of older, more polluting vehicles on Britain’s roads.”
The whingeing that followed was predictable … with the CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes, stating: “It’s unrealistic to think that we can fast-track the introduction of the next generation of clean diesel technology which takes years to develop, in just 4 months. This budget will also do nothing to remove the oldest, most polluting vehicles from our roads in the coming years.”
That’s likely because there is no “next-generation” of diesel cars that can simultaneously meet real-world emissions standards while also being cost competitive. In other words, stalling is seemingly the only viable strategy left to those peddling diesel cars in the UK. Hence the government’s push towards plug-in electric vehicles and away from diesels.
According to the Finance Minister, the new tax will fund a £220 million “Clean Air Fund” — which is intended to help support various local efforts to improve air quality.
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