More stringent taxation for new diesel cars has now kicked in; no new diesel-powered vehicles on sale in the UK are believed to be exempt

The government's increase in taxation of diesel-powered vehicles, which has come into force with the new tax year that starts today, affects every new diesel car on sale.

First announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Budget last year, the changes push new diesel cars registered after 1 April 2018 up a tax band and see diesel-powered company car drivers faced with a benefit-in-kind supplement tax increase from 3% to 4%.

Vehicles that conform to the Euro 6d standard of air quality are exempt from the new diesel VED supplement, but according to the government-backed Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, "there are currently no new diesel cars on sale that meet this stricter standard".

All new diesel-powered cars will have to comply with Euro 6d from 2020; the cleanest new diesel cars on sale currently conform to Euro 6c, Europe's present required level.

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The VED increases and company car rate changes don't apply to diesel vehicles currently on the road. Those cars will remain in their current tax bands.

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The 2018 rules come alongside the new Real Driving Emissions test that measures pollution levels of cars on the road, as opposed to in a laboratory as in the old NEDC testing system, and run alongside the lab-based Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedue (WLTP). The on-road RDE tests will be used to validate the results of the WLTP exams, with two steps set for how close the results of the two tests must be aligned on emissions output. 

The new emissions tests are broader in scope than the older NEDC tests, and include a big focus on NOx emissions. The second step, which the government is using as the basis for its tax hike, gives cars a 'conformity factor' of 50%. To ensure cars meet this conformity level, they will have to ensure cars fall well below the currently allowed NOx limits.

The process is more stringent than the old lab-based NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) system. Current diesel cars are only required by European law to conform to RDE step 1 standards, meaning the Budget's requirement for step two could affect even the very latest models. This essentially means the government is penalising models that don't conform to a 2020 regulation from April 2018.

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The UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders boss Mike Hawes stated that the changes were unfair back in autumn. He 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.”

The new diesel tax hike, which Hammond said applies exclusively to cars, leaving van and lorry drivers unaffected, forms part of the government’s plans to fight Britain’s growing air quality problem, of which it labels diesel pollution a major contributor.

But Hawes believes that targeting the newest diesels is the wrong method to take. He said: "We know the government wanted to raise revenue to pay for the air quality plan. We recognise that they didn’t want to penalise existing diesel-car owners who bought their cars in good faith. But we want to encourage the latest technology”, referring to new diesel cars on the market. He added that there was “nothing in the budget about getting older vehicles off the road,” which are the worst offenders in the quest for better air quality".

New WLTP and RDE fuel economy and emissions tests explained

Hammond said that the money generated by the raised diesel taxes, which the government estimates will amount to £70 million in 2018 and £35m the year after, would be used to fund air quality improving projects.

Referring to the changes to diesel company car tax, the AA's director of fleet and SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), Stuart Thomas, said that the new adjustments have been met with confusion.

“Fleet managers are positively investigating alternative fuel sources, but our research shows they don’t feel they have enough information to take a strategic step forward," he said. "A number of industry roadmaps exist which plot the UK’s journey towards a low-carbon future but which are heavily jargoned and not easily understood by the SME sector."

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Comments
36

3 April 2018
All that hoo haw over moving the diesel into a single higher tax band (from 3 to 4%). Which only proves the point that diesel was given an unfair by the past governments. It is peanuts compared to the taxes on petrol cars. Make it equal. Lets see then how many put their money where their mouth is.

3 April 2018
Are the people of 2020 more important than the people of today? I would not bother with tax measures I would just make 6d law. And if that means no diesels, fine.

3 April 2018

Very many cars from BMW Mercedes PSA ,Volvo and VW are already Euro 6D compliant 

https://www.fleeteurope.com/en/manufacturers/europe/features/these-cars-already-comply-euro-6d-temp

 

JLR needs to get its act together  

 

6 April 2018
peetee wrote:

Very many cars from BMW Mercedes PSA ,Volvo and VW are already Euro 6D compliant 

https://www.fleeteurope.com/en/manufacturers/europe/features/these-cars-already-comply-euro-6d-temp

 

JLR needs to get its act together  

 

You say VW has many cars on the list, and JLR needs to get its act together, the problem is the VW group only has two cars on the list and one of them is a petrol, 1 is an Audi A7 50TDI, and the other is a VW Up GTI, no SEATs, no Skodas. 

Perhaps you might want to take another look. 

3 April 2018

Information about how highly polluting diesel is has been in the news for years. It goes at least as far back as the World Health Organisation decision to categorise diesel fumes as carcinogenic in June 2012.

So why has it taken the government so long to address this problem?  One thing sums it up - industry lobbying.  For years the European car industry has been prioritising its bad decision to invest in diesel over the health of European citizens.

Will this self-serving lobbying ever change? The words of the SMMT would suggest not. 

But at least we finally see some signs of a better tax and testing regime around dirty diesel.

3 April 2018
HiPo 289 wrote:

Information about how highly polluting diesel is has been in the news for years. It goes at least as far back as the World Health Organisation decision to categorise diesel fumes as carcinogenic in June 2012.

Petrol vapours are also carcinogenic.

3 April 2018
armstrm wrote:

HiPo 289 wrote:

Information about how highly polluting diesel is has been in the news for years. It goes at least as far back as the World Health Organisation decision to categorise diesel fumes as carcinogenic in June 2012.

Petrol vapours are also carcinogenic.

Reminds me of the lobbying of the cigarette makers back in the 50's where they also cheated and manipulated data [like VW] Well documented in a good but difficult book to read "The Emperor of All Maladies" about cancer research.Also totally hypocritical by the government[also typical] in not targeting the lorries, vans and buses who are worse offenders.

 

Madmac

3 April 2018

Dirty diesel needs driving out of existence completely.

Steam cars are due a revival.

3 April 2018

 Just about every other Car you see nowadays is Diesel powered private or commercial, demonisation of the Black stuff hasn’t really in my observation done that much damage, if new tech coming along can reduce the Nox factor then there is still a place for it.

Peter Cavellini.

3 April 2018

That's right - penalize diesel cars that emit under 100g/km Co2 and don't charge a penny more to those white van and lorry drivers. Well I say white van but in reality you can't see the colour of their vans for all the blue smoke they produce.

Co2 used to be the enemy, we used to blame it for creating holes in the ozone and taxed it accordingly. Now we find Co2 levels rising again - presumably the ozone doesn't matter?

When are we idiots going to learn these "here today, gone tomorrow" politicians don't give a hoot for the environment or your health. It's all about the economy stupid.

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