Diesel cars will be taxed more heavily in a move planned to improve air quality, it will be unveiled in the Autumn budget statement on 22 November.
The Financial Times reported that chancellor Philip Hammond will penalise diesel owners in a bid to boost environment secretary Michael Gove’s clean air initiatives, which were announced in July. Hammond will either raise VAT on diesel fuel or create a new taxation on diesel vehicles.
Overnight, the Treasury released a statement confirming this, saying: "The Government’s clean air strategy had stated that it would tax new diesel cars differently."
This will be the latest in a string of penalties for diesel drivers, with growing anti-diesel rhetoric across the media since the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal of 2015.
Sales of diesel cars are currently tumbling amid public distrust; the overall UK new car market contracted by 12.2% in October compared with October 2016, with diesels experiencing a 29.9% decline across the same period. This was met with criticism from SMMT CEO Mike Hawes, who accused the Government of causing consumer confusion on diesel policy.
Meanwhile, the ever-growing EV and hybrid segment continued to gain, with 36.9% growth, or 8244 registrations, in October, representing 5.2% of the total market.
Also in October, the new T-Charge, a daily fee of £10 for pre-Euro 4 petrol and diesel vehicles to drive in the centre of London, came into effect.
Oxford has gone one step further, planning to ban diesel cars outright from the city centre by 2020, joining Germany, which will ban the sale of new diesels in the future, as well as Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City, which plan to ban diesels by 2025.