The latest Budget has been revealed and within it, there are a fair few changes for Britain’s drivers. From a fuel duty freeze to autonomous vehicle trials, the roads are certainly changing and the recent Budget is a reflection of this.
VED band changes
First things first, from next April, any new diesel cars that do not meet the current Euro 6 emissions standards will be moved up a VED band in their first year fees. The Treasury calculates that the change will potentially earn the Government an extra £125 million by the financial year 2018/19. However, come 2021/22, it’s expected this will turn negative as vehicles increasingly adopt cleaner technologies.
The Treasury also announced a 1% increase in the company car tax diesel supplement, also from the next financial year. However, the Treasury did emphasise that these changes only applied to cars and not vans.
Electric gets an investment boost
The Treasury also announced an additional £400 million investment in the UK’s charging infrastructure. Charging infrastructure R&D will be boosted by a further £40 million and the plug-in car grant will be extended by another £100 million. In the eyes of the Government, electric really might be the way forward.
Or perhaps, we won’t be driving in the future at all…
Autonomous vehicle trials to go ahead
The Government has put in place some sweeping regulatory reforms to allow autonomous vehicles to be tested on Britain’s roads without a driver present. This could happen as early as 2021.
Current rules state that a human in the driver’s seat must be present in all autonomous vehicle trials. The new rules have been proposed as part of the Government’s drive to stay at the forefront of driverless technology.
With all the changes proposed as part of the new Budget, the Government appears to be taking its foot off the pedal of diesel and other traditional forms of transport and looking towards an electric and self-driven future. What this means for Britain’s roads can only be imagined now. But one thing is for sure, the way we drive is never going to be the same again.