With the government looking to make the UK’s roads cleaner, vehicles that emit higher levels of harmful gases are being charged more under the latest changes to road tax rules.
After the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, announced vehicle excise duty rates for diesel vehicles were being increased compared to similarly emitting petrol vehicles, April 2018 was where the ruling was enforced.
From April 1 2018, all new diesel vehicles are to be charged a band above where they would be before, meaning some motorists could see a considerable change in costs. However, this only applies to new models and has been used to usher buyers into cleaner petrol or electrified cars. This also only affects the first year of the vehicle’s time on the road – after which all cars are charged a flat rate.
The surcharge on Benefit in Kind tax for company cars was also increased for diesel models from three to four per cent.
VED is based on the emissions of the vehicle, and with the new WLTP regulations coming into force on September 1, drivers might find that new vehicles will be in a different tax category depending on the options they choose to fit.
This new VED change doesn’t apply to vans and commercial vehicles, however, as they are charged under a different set of guidelines.
As electric vehicles currently don’t incur any road tax, the move to increase tax on higher emitting models is meant to push people towards electrified options – helping to make British roads cleaner.
Diesel cars registered before April 1 2018 will continue to be taxed under the same regulations they were registered under, and in many circumstances will be cheaper to run than new diesels.
Although WLTP has come in to give motorists a better idea of how much their vehicle is emitting, it will be April 2020 before tax and VED rates will be calculated under those new guidelines. At the moment, that means WLTP figures are being worked through NEDC figures and that could mean a further increase in tax levels in the future.