In his Budget statement, Alistair Darling said from April 2009, measures will be in place to “encourage manufacturers to produce cleaner cars” and incentivise drivers to “choose the least polluting car”.
He said: “As a second stage for new cars, from April 2010 there will be a new first-year rate based on carbon dioxide emissions of the car.
“Cars that emit less than the proposed 130 grams per kilometre European standard of carbon dioxide emissions will pay no car tax at all in the first year. But a higher first year rate will be introduced on the most polluting cars.”
But Sutton, the CEO of Clive Sutton Premier Marques, believes it represents a failure to “address the whole market with a proper, coherent policy”.
He explains: “I’m a great advocate of proportional taxation for pollution so his plan to put higher first year taxes on high-emitting cars and then reducing that almost by half in the second year is, I think, misguided.
“It people are driving high-emitting cars, they should pay a higher level throughout the life of the car that’s consistent with the mileage they drive.”
Sutton also questions why the government is waiting to implement these measures. “Why not now,” he asks. “Why are we doing it in two years’ time?”
While he doesn’t believe the legislation, when it comes in, will have too much of an effect on his independent car dealership, Sutton thinks it will impact a section of the total market.
“I think that people who are buying cars in the 30 to 80 thousand pound range will start to make choices and they will be looking for cars with lower emissions,” he says.
“My customers may choose to keep their very expensive Bentley or Aston Martin but what they might do is also buy a low emission, sub-130 grams of CO2 car.”
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