The Chanceller announced in today’s Budget a handful of small measures intended to help motorists.
First was to confirm that fuel duty will be frozen until spring 2015, meaning that the planned rise in September has been abandoned. In his fifth budget, George Osborne described how this would make petrol 20 pence per litre cheaper on average than it would have been under the previous Government.
However, plans to increase vehicle excise duty costs in line with inflation remain, meaning that from April 1 any band from D upwards will rise by £5 or more.
It has also been confirmed that motorists will be able to pay for their vehicle excise duty on a monthly, biannual or annual basis from October 1 2014, . He also confirmed that when selling a car any remaining tax is no longer transferrable.
There was news of a £200 million fund for local authorities to repair potholes, a move that was cautiously welcomed by the Institute of Advanced Motorists: “Every little helps and it will be welcomed in many areas hit by this year’s bad weather,” said Neil Greig , the IAM’s director of policy and research. “With a ten billion pound back log in repairs, however, it is only through consistent long-term funding that the pothole problem can finally be fixed.”
The RAC, however, warns that merely patching up potholes isn’t enough: “We need whole stretches of road to be resurfaced regularly rather than just patching them when they start to fall apart, costing taxpayers more and more money every year. Simply filling potholes is a massive false economy which has now unfortunately become necessity. We really need to put an end to this by making sure roads are never allowed to degenerate to the point where potholes develop,” said David Bizley, the organisation’s technical director.
As per last year’s Budget it was also announced that the exemption from vehicle excise duty for classic cars will move to a 40-year rolling period, which takes effect from April 1 2014. This means that models such as the Austin Allegro, Reliant Robin and MGB V will qualify for tax exemption, which could have a positive impact on their value. Previously only cars built before January 1 1973 were exempt from tax, after the Government abandoned the previous 25-year rolling scale in 1997.