Diesel owners may have to pay more VED under new tax levy
Owners of diesel vehicles like those affected by the Volkswagen emissions scandal may be set for more bad news as the British government looks to increase tax for diesel cars that don’t meet new emission standards.
The “dieselgate” scandal hit 1.2 million vehicles in the U.K. with some owners facing problems after the so-called “fix” had been applied, and other owners seeing the value of their vehicle fall. Now, some diesel owners may have to pay more in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) under new tax reforms being proposed.
Impact of the Volkswagen emissions scandal
The Volkswagen emissions scandal prompted all sorts of environmental studies into the impact of excessive NOx that diesel vehicles are spewing into the air. Scientific research found that the extra volume of NOx is contributing to air pollution in our already dense cities, and is linked to all sorts of health problems. Thousands of premature deaths are blamed on emissions particles in the air, with problems like cardiovascular diseases often exacerbated by such pollution. A recent study also suggested that these pollutants can affect certain hormones in our bodies, increasing risks of developing osteoporosis (brittle bones disease).
In the bid to clean the air, governments from various European and North American cities have introduced, or are proposing, levies and regulatory crackdowns on diesel vehicles in the form of bans, fines and other restrictions.
Many were sold the idea that “clean-diesel” was the future, but now the story is totally different.
About the new tax
Our own government said that the VED will be increased for those registering a diesel vehicle that doesn’t meet the newer and more stringent emissions requirements for the first time. Finance Minister, Philip Hammond, justified the tax in Parliament when discussing his annual budget statement:
“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.”
Hammond said that the extra money the tax levy could bring in can be put towards the £220 million Clean Air Fund that supports local plans to clean up the air.
VED for smaller cars that do not meet the new emissions rules may only cost £20 more, but larger cars may see increases equating to hundreds of pounds.
Will the changes help?
The move will hopefully encourage automakers to bring in new and innovative technology for more eco-friendly cars. However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders think the tax levy won’t realistically give those involved in the car industry enough time.
It’s chief executive, Mike Hawes said:
“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 four months. This budget will also do nothing to remove the oldest, most polluting vehicles from our roads in the coming years.”
Reuters reports that 2017 saw a 15% drop in diesel car sales. The increase in demand for petrol vehicles instead is perhaps unsurprising as car owners lose faith in diesel vehicles, worrying about the effect they have on the environment as well as the levies and regulatory measures that follow.
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