30th Mar, 2017
April of 2017 sees a slightly unwelcome surprise for new car owners, and it’s all to do with tax rate increases. Essentially, buying a new car after April the 1st is about to become quite expensive. This week on the blog, we’re taking a quick look at how much, and why the government has decided to bring in these plans.
We won’t dress it up for you – it’s not fantastic news for a lot of people. Essentially, from April 1st, almost all newly-bought cars will cost £140 to tax at a standard rate. (The exceptions are some zero-emissions electric and hydrogen, cars, but we’ll come onto them in just a second.)
The new rules are going to hit those with the smallest or greenest cars, or those worth £40,000 or more. The buyers of the smaller cars would have been charged £20 a year – or even nothing at all – for their annual road tax. Under the new rules, that figure skyrockets to £420, which is a pretty big difference! Meanwhile, any cars over £40,000 will be hit with a £310 surcharge on top of their usual tax rate. This means that cars from companies like Lexus, Mercedes and Audi won’t do too well under these new laws. The worst-hit drivers are going to witness up to a 2475% increase on their tax from next week (even looking at those numbers makes us feel a bit dizzy here at Scrap Car Network). Only zero emissions or electric vehicles worth under £40,000 won’t have to pay car tax under these new rules, which take effect from Saturday. That’s a pretty narrow Venn diagram for cars to fall into!
The new laws are apparently designed to increase the advantage of running a zero-emissions car, but that does mean that they’re pushing up the price of all the others. But…didn’t we say a lot of greener cars were being affected too? Yes we did, and that’s why a lot of people are finding the new rulings confusing.
We’ll try not to drown you under facts and figures, but in a nutshell, the government has previously encouraged the purchasing of low-emissions vehicles. Greener planet, healthier people, better economy. No-brainer, right? Well, it turns out that due to the broad definition of a low-emissions car, now the government is being cost a ton because so many are exempt from road tax. Under current legislation (i.e. this side of April), it’s reckoned that about a quarter of new cars don’t pay any road tax at all. So now the government is narrowing their definition, meaning that lots of people are finding themselves having to pay a lot or road tax all of a sudden.
It’s an odd position the government have found themselves in, because while they’re theoretically still trying to encourage us all to buy low-emissions cars, it doesn’t take a whole lot of examination to see that they’ve just made many of them a lot more expensive for us. As a result, since the plans were announced there’s been a mad rush on so that people can get their cars bought before the 1st of April.
At Scrap Car Network, we’re always glad we don’t have to worry about the devil or the deep blue sea when it comes to policy making. What we do is scrap cars, and we do it very well, if we do say so ourselves! It’s easy to get started – all you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode onto our website, and we’ll get back to you with an instant scrap car quote. It’s all go from there!
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