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Budget 2017: Fuel duty frozen, diesel tax increase, investment in driverless cars

Chancellor Philip Hammond presented the Autumn Budget, promising ‘a Britain fit for the future’

The second Budget of the year was aimed at allowing Britain to ‘seize the opportunities from Brexit’ and build a prosperous and inclusive economy, said the Chancellor.

For fleet operators, there were a number of new initiatives of note, including new diesel taxes, a freeze in fuel duty and investment in electric vehicles and recharging infrastructure.

Here’s a summary of the announcements:

Inflated Vehicle Excise Duty for NEW diesel vehicles – The Chancellor announced that there would be a road tax increase for new diesel cars registered from April 1st, 2018. Diesel drivers will have to pay one band higher car tax than they currently do for their first year, before reverting to the £140 a year vehicle excise duty flat rate. If diesel cars do meet the required emissions limits they will be exempt from the inflated fees. Fortunately, existing cars are exempt from any changes meaning millions of motorists won’t be caught out.

Fuel duty frozen AGAIN – Fuel duty on both petrol and diesel will remain frozen, cancelling the planned rise in April again for the eighth year running. This means that the tax on fuel has remained the same for the longest period in 40 years.

Driverless cars – The government are looking to have “fully driverless cars without a safety attendant in the car” on the roads in the UK by 2021. The major regulation changes will remove the last remaining barrier to advanced on-road testing.

Push for electric vehicles – The government have allocated £100 million to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles by guaranteeing the continuation of the Plug-In Car Grant to 2020 to help with the cost of purchasing a new battery electric vehicle. Currently under the Plug-In Grant, drivers can receive a £4,500 contribution towards a new all-electric car and £2,500 towards a plug-in hybrid.

A further £400 million will be allocated to support the growth in electric vehicle recharging infrastructure across the UK. Recharging plug-in electric vehicles in the workplace will not now be seen as a Benefit-in-Kind as it had been previously.

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Posted on 28th November 2017 at 3:47 PM

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