So the chancellor did what could be his last ever budget or at least the last one of this term depending on what happens on the forth coming General Election, but how did us motorists fair?
It is a bit low key now, fuel prices have been near the top of many agendas, especially as every person in the UK is affected even if they do not drive. Obviously transport costs affects everything we buy from food to LCD TVs, but with lower oil costs, we have seen a natural decline in prices at the petrol pumps.
Scrapping The Escalator
Even so the Chancellor has decided to scrap the fuel escalator that was designed to gradually increase tax revenues from petrol and diesel. A “Tenner Per Tank from the Tories” was his way of getting some headlines from the change of heart. I suppose no one thought to remind him, that is was is policy that was pushing up the prices in the first place. But never mind a welcome break that could save £675 a year to the average motorist and a whopping £21k per lorry for trucking firms.
A proposed idea to reduce fuel by 5p in rural areas is also going ahead, so that village petrol station have a chance to sell fuel at similar prices to those in town, helping keeping customers.
Vehicle Tax Duty Rise
Of course our Road Tax will still go up with inflation with the exception of classic cars where the year of free taxation has moved from 1971 to 1976 with the hope that this will expand as time moves on. I think it is fair to say that any car over 35 years old should be deemed as a classic, rather than a banger.
The Road Works We Want
Once again further road upgrades have been promised including the A1. If you want a reason to why those n the north feel they are being ignored just go back and read how long the argument over making the A1 a dual carriageway right up to Scotland has gone on. A hint that more investment will be made, but no complete commitment.
If you drive a company car you will be subject to “benefit in kind” or company car tax. The proposed increases have been slowed down for a better word on those models that have ultra low emissions. But other modes will increase more.
Let Something Else Drive
For those following Google’s driverless car, well the government has committed to investing in projects for the UK. The value is £100 million, it wants the UK to be at the top of what could be the future of motoring.
Overall it was reasonably good news except for those driving large company cars, who have until next year anyway before any future rise. The average driver is likely to be better off with even lower fuel costs, which could help keep inflation down also with cheaper transport costs. Probably a wise move as Europe has also seen a significant drop in fuel prices. When you take into account a good exchange rate diesel is a low as 85p a litre in some parts of Spain, making it easier for them to compete commercially as a country .
This May Not Be Set In Stone
Of course the General election may put an end to some of this, we just don’t know yet how important the motorist will be to the future government or coalition.