Car tax changes need to be ‘measured and sensible’ as petrol and diesel owners attacked

Martin Lewis gives money-saving advice on VED car tax

Car tax increases would need to be considered to ensure drivers continue to make “sensible decisions” for the sake of the environment and wallet. Alex Buttle, Director of has warned “any tax hikes” may be an issue for some road users which could backfire.

Speaking to, he said: “We are fully behind the 2030 switchover to electric cars.

“But any tax hikes on those who have not yet bought electric need to be measured and sensible to ensure the public can make sensible decisions for both the environment and their wallet.”

His comments come just over a week after the UK Energy Research Centre proposed polluting petrol and diesel cars are sold with a 50 percent purchase tax.

The policy would see the most polluting models emitting 225g CO2 per km charged at the point of purchase from 2021.

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However, other models would continue to be introduced on a sliding scale for each preceding year.

By 2030 only zero-carbon cars would avoid the tax which could see thousands issued heavier costs when buying a vehicle.

The UKERC claims the new policy could save 32 Metric Tonnes of CO2 emissions between 2020 and 2030.

This would increase to 65 MtCO2 between 2031 and 2050 which could help the government meet its zero-carbon target.

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They say this phasing in scheme would help drive down emissions between the medium to long term”.

UKERC spokesperson Professor Rob Gross said: “You might think that people not buying cars is a good thing for the environment.

“But it’s not a good thing if they delay buying a relatively inefficient car, and that car is still being used for longer.

“Every gram of CO2 that enters the atmosphere stays there, potentially for hundreds of years.”

Mr Buttle also attacked the new scheme just before Christmas as he warned the new 50 percent purchase tax seems “unreasonably high”.

He said the project may end up “counterproductive” as many would simply purchase polluting models in the months ahead of a ban being introduced.

Sales of electric vehicles have boomed in 2020 with a 162.2 percent increase so far in 2020.

Over 105,500 new electric cars have been registered in 2020 compared to just 38,000 at this stage last year.

However, despite this increase electric cars continue to make up just under six percent of overall sales as petrol and diesel continue to be the favoured option.

Over 845,000 petrol models have been sold in 2020 with a further 245,000 diesel cars leaving forecourts.

Mr Buttle said he would like to see the market mature over the coming months before announcing increased tax.

Mr Buttle added: “Plans to penalise non-EV drivers now seems a little premature when the EV market is already beginning to boom.

“This kind of tax should be considered in a few years’ time, but for now it seems too early.”

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