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Spring Budget 2017

As Philip Hammond outlined the government’s plans in the 2017 spring budget there were sure to be implications for motorists.

Some positive – fuel duty frozen for the eighth consecutive time and some not so positive – no mention of a diesel scrappage scheme.

We look at the main points which are set to impact on UK motorists:

Fuel duty

No increase in fuel duty is sure to be a welcome relief for motorists as fuel prices have continued to climb since the start of the year.

Road tax

There was no mention of the impending changes to road tax/VED rates, due on April 1st, when incentives to purchase new lower CO2 emitting vehicle will be scrapped. Anyone who buys a new car producing less than 100 g/km will pay £140 for road tax, instead of £0 now, while a 131-140 g/km car will also pay £140 as opposed to the current £130.

Road maintenance/congestion

The Chancellor announced £90 million for the North and £23 million for the Midlands from a £220 million fund that addresses pinch-points on the national road network. The AA praised the government’s continued support in road building and congestion but believes it needs to work faster in tackling congestion without compromising safety.

RAC, chief engineer, David Bizley added: ‘We welcome more funds to tackle urban congestion – not least because congestion goes hand-in-hand with poor air quality, so tackling one can help the other. However, we’ll need to look carefully at how councils will be expected to bid for money. What we certainly don’t want to see is a situation where local authorities have to take part in an expensive, protracted process simply to have the funds they need to sort out well known bottlenecks on our town and city centre roads.

Technology

The government will continue its investment into driverless car research which has been praised by motoring groups. Hammond outlined plans to keep Britain at the forefront of 'disruptive technologies' investing £270 million into driverless cars and robotics.

Diesel cars‘The Chancellor has fired a warning shot at diesel drivers, with the suggestion in the Budget document that a new tax regime covering diesel drivers could be introduced before the end of the year. This uncertainty is bound to be of concern to private and business motorists alike, who will be wanting urgent clarity on just what the Government plan to do. The RAC will take a leading in representing motorists when the consultation goes live,’ Bizley said.

There was no mention of a diesel scrappage scheme which many were hoping for. There’s a continued focus on pollution from diesel vehicles with some cities discussing proposals to remove diesels from some boroughs and many increasing the number of car-charging points for electric vehicles. Drivers must wait until the autumn Budget to hear the government's plans for diesels but change is almost certain.

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Posted on 9th March 2017 at 2:06 PM

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