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New diesel tax rules leave drivers in the dark

Auto Express logo Auto Express 09/03/2018 Joe Holding
New diesel tax rules leave drivers in the dark © Auto Express New diesel tax rules leave drivers in the dark

The vast majority of drivers don’t understand new diesel tax rules being introduced in April, a survey has found.

Of 2,000 people polled, 87 per cent said they didn’t understand the forthcoming rules, which see new diesel cars bought from April shift up one band for Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) - also known as  road tax – for their first year on the road. 

Related: Top 10 road-tax-free cars (Carbuyer)

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That increase can add up to £500 to the cost of a new diesel car, though many diesels will go up by as little as £20. First-year VED fees are typically bundled into a car’s on-the-road price.

And while tax rules for diesels are relatively complex, 46 per cent of those surveyed said they thought messages on the subject were unclear. The research, commissioned by comparison website Confused.com, also found 60 per cent of motorists said they wouldn’t buy a diesel car, with 33 per cent directly attributing that decision to the new tax rules.

Diesel pump at a filling station: the fuel's popularity is declining © Provided by Motoring Research Diesel pump at a filling station: the fuel's popularity is declining

Commenting on the results, Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “Drivers are clearly confused about the messaging around diesel vehicles. 

“As we head towards 2040, when the sale of new conventional diesel and petrol vehicles will be banned, we expect drivers will see numerous incentives and penalties being introduced. Whether such measures will encourage take up of more environmentally friendly car-types remains to be seen.”

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Related: Losers in the April 2018 road tax hike (Read Cars)

Losers in the April 2018 road tax hike: In 2017 the Government announced that all diesel cars which don’t meet tough new “real-world” driving emissions standards will face higher road tax from April 2018.Even though the new tests do not come into force until 2020 and manufacturers do not have time to make immediate changes, all NEW diesel cars will, in effect, go up a road tax band from April 1, 2018.Assuming the first-year increase (between £20-£500) is absorbed by dealers and leasing companies, it won’t mean that buyers are out of pocket. Also, tax for subsequent years remains at £140 for all new diesels under £40,000.Here are some examples of how the change is expected to affect new diesel cars after April, assuming these cars do not meet the new RDE 2 real world emissions standards…. Losers in the April 2018 road tax hike

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