The Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is the culmination of ambitious air quality plans, which will be funded by a hike in taxes on diesels or a shuffling of existing funds

The Government will increase taxes on new diesel cars in order to fund its air quality plans, which culminate in ban on internal combustion-engined cars from 2040 unless other existing funds can be ‘reprioritised’. 

The funds will be dished out to local authorities, for more local air quality measures such as the proposed abolishment of speed humps and air quality-decreasing traffic calming measures. The ban, which will abolish sales of all new petrol and diesel cars (but not hybrids or plug-in hybrids) is the culmination of a period of intensifying anti-fossil-fuel and pro-air-quality rhetoric. 

It’s not yet known how much the taxes would amount to for each diesel driver, but they would be in addition to the £10 T-Charge, which was announced earlier this year to discourage diesel drivers from already polluted city centres, as well as other levies to discourage drivers out of diesels. The current method of taxation for covers both petrol and diesel cars, with first-year charges ranging from £10 to £2000 depending on the car's CO2 output. After this, all cars have the same £140 rate of tax, whatever their emissions. Zero-emissions cars under £40,000 go free. 

The Government will announce the measures later this year, likely in the autumn budget statement. The detail has fuelled further speculation of the end of diesels in the UK, from used car buyers ditching them in the wake of higher taxes and charges, as well as through the Government’s planned scrappage scheme, and new buyers snubbing them in favour of petrol, petrol-electric hybrids and pure EVs

This tax hike would be another blow for the Government’s latest VED scheme. These new VED rules have already faced criticism for inadvertently penalising more expensive hybrids out of contention with traditional petrol and diesel cars through a £310 annual ‘premium fee’ for cars with a list price of more than £40,000 for the first five years of the car's life, no matter what its emissions.

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A Defra spokesman confirmed that the tax changes will be announced at the autumn budget statement, but could not give any further details.

An AA spokesman said: “Something has to be done about air quality, but there is tunnel vision when it comes to the problem; cars, cars, cars are always blamed, without a grand strategy for the other sources which make up the majority of air pollution. 

We believe there is a natural route to where the government wants to get - once again they have whipped up a storm of fear and can milk it for as much as you can get out of it. 

One of the reasons people went to diesels is that they’re cheaper in the long run. The lack of affordable housing in city centres means longer commutes, which means a diesel car will be more suited to your commute. The average fuel consumption for new cars is 52.1mpg for petrol, 61.7mpg for diesel - go figure.”

The spokesman also remarked about the UK moving away from pay-per-mile-type car taxation, suggesting that a revision to the current VED laws will be in store for diesels, rather than a new taxation system entirely. 

Read more:

Hybrids exempt from Britain's petrol and diesel car ban

Opinion: How the Government’s air quality strategy could hit used car buyers

Comment: The questions the government must answer before a combustion engine ban

£10 T-charge for high polluting vehicles to start in autumn

Join the debate


27 July 2017

The quickest, and easiest way of reducing the number of diesels sold is to change how company cars are taxed. This is where the real problem lies. Todays new cars are the second hand cars of tomorrow, and all that are available to most people.  Surely we want less diesel cars sold, not more tax from those that are? 

27 July 2017

Clearly the new VED rates are to prevent an increasing number of new cars being registered within the £0 band. But why they removed all incentive to buy clean, eco friendly cars... Stupid decisions by people that dont understand the industry. 

27 July 2017

Its simple.  Tax at the pump per litre (yes more).   The more fuel you use the more you pay! 

Abolish this VED nonsense - No department required - lots of jobs cut reducing costs associated with these rdiculous schemes, More money for the roads. Less politicians interfere.

More incentive to use clean cars based on real world economy - no testing required - another Government department culled.

And no need for manufacturers to make up imaginary CO2/Mpg figures based on meaningless tests - they will have to make economical cars in order to sell them

27 July 2017

As someone entirely in favour of the phasing out of new ICE vehicles (and the sooner the better), the current demonisation of diesel vehicles is utterly fatuous, given that fully compliant (ie not VAG) modern diesels have no greater particulate emissions than petrol vehicles, and maintain significant advantage in CO2 emissions. By all means try to get the older stuff off the road, but focus effort where it matters, rather than writing off an entire sector of the industry. I'm a cyclist and have no wish to inhale any more diesel crap, but this is utterly inappropriate populism. And of course no British government would go down that route, would they?

27 July 2017

'given that fully compliant (ie not VAG) modern diesels have no greater particulate emissions than petrol vehicles'

I do not agree with that statement. Where did you get that information from?

You should also consider the size of the particulates that are being emitted during all stages of engine operation.

30 July 2017
Technomad wrote:

...try to get the older stuff off the road...


And right there you demonstrate that you haven't got a fucking clue about environmental sustainability.  Keeping cars running for longer is the only truly sustainable course.  No car has ever been made, and none ever will be, which merits the scrapping of an existing car with useful life remaining to make way for it.  Longevity is everything.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left


27 July 2017

I totally agree that the demonising of diesel vehicles is going too far.   Switching to petrol may be appropriate for many people such as low mileage users and people living and commuting in cities.  However, not everyone lives in a city and most companies and individuals would suffer considerable cost increases if forced to switch to petrol.   My current vehicle acquired 12 months ago is a euro 6 compliant diesel and averages around 40mpg in predominately rural driving.   I did try a plug in petrol/ hybrid before deciding, but was extremely concerned and disappointed with the 28mpg achieved once the short battery range was depleted.    

The pressure is therefore on manufacturers to produce more fuel efficient hybrids and improve the range of batteries.   Hitting Companies and individuals with added tax burdens and losses on the disposal of their vehicles will not help the individual or the National economy.   And a weak economy will not help the Government invest in the required new technologies! 

The balance of petrol / diesel / EV vehicles needs to change, but with carrots not sticks please.  

27 July 2017

The motorist has been a cash cow for too long,  we are constantly told that there is no money for public services, that hospitals and funding for local councils has to be reduced, meanwhile they give themselves a 10% pay rise, hand over billions to the banking sector and then find another billion for the DUP to cling on to power. Where is the infrastructure to drive electric? how is the grid going to cope with all the extra demand? If the government was sincere about green technology why are they licensing the oil companies to extract oil & gas by fracking instead of helping companies with the investment needed in battery technology?

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

27 July 2017
The clue's in the title - V.E.D is just a tax, a way for the tax-man to fleece motorists, so idiots in government can squander the money on pointless schemes that have nought to do with motoring or the environmental impact of transport. It had very little to do with road maintenance when everyone knew it as 'Road Tax', it wasn't particularly useful as an attempt to curb CO2 (which is due only in part to vehicle use anyway) and it's not going to encourage sales of electric vehicles (the uptake of which is influenced more by real world viability).
What we need is honest politics, financial clarity, realistic policies and a pragmatic approach to government - I'm not holding my breath...

27 July 2017

The government has allowed itself to be whipped up into this ridiculous frenzy by the Dieselgate, and the numpty that decided to announce that he'd proven that 40,000 people a year were being killed by particulates from diesels. FFS - GET A GRIP. You are about to decimate the car industry, the pre-owned values of peoples cars, and jobs. I'm beginning to doubt the decision making abilities of this government. Not happy.


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