From 1 April 2018, taxation for any new diesel car will increase by a tax band for the first year, unless that vehicle can meet new real-world testing standards, called RDE Step 2. However, these standards will not be introduced until 2020, meaning no new diesel model can yet be eligible for this exemption.
The diesel tax supplement for company cars is also rising from 3% to 4%.
Goss said: “We were surprised by the Budget. What is the rationale? It’s difficult to fathom what led to that [decision].
“If it had been a question of getting older diesel cars off the road, that would have been understandable. But to go for new diesels in the way they have is a real surprise.”
He also warned on the effect it would have on emissions: “It’s not good. CO2 will go the other way”, he cautioned, outlining that CO2 emissions will rise as people are pushed towards buying petrol cars which, on average, have higher CO2 emissions.
Goss’s comments echo that of the UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) boss Mike Hawes. In reaction to the Budget last month, Hawes said: “This budget will also do nothing to remove the oldest, most polluting vehicles from our roads in the coming years.”
The SMMT has also raised concerns about rising CO2 emissions, which will make it increasingly difficult for the UK to meet strict emissions targets.