Budget 2013: How it affects UK motorists

Here is a round-up of all the important changes made in today’s budget related to the motoring industry and how it will affect Britain’s drivers nationwide.

Fuel duty rise frozen again

The most highlighted motoring-related news of all from today’s Budget announcement is unquestionably the confirmation that the proposed fuel duty rise of 3p per litre for this September has been once again waived.

Plans to raise fuel duty have been on the cards since it was first declared back in March 2011, however in face of repeated criticism and campaigning a rise to fuel duty has been kept frozen all the way up until September 2013. Now today the Chancellor announces a fuel duty rise has been cancelled.

It was further revealed from the Chancellor today that petrol is now 13 pence per litre than it would have been had the fuel duty rise not been frozen over the last two years.

Chancellor George Osborne explained: “For a Vauxhall Astra or a Ford Focus, that’s £7 less every time you fill up”.

The level of the now cancelled duty increase has not been announced to the public. Still today’s announcements on fuel duty will come as a welcome respite for motorists across Britain.

Fuel duty has not risen in the UK since January 2011 when it went up by 0.76p per litre, it was then cut by 1p in March 2011. While an increase has been proposed since then it has been repeatedly postponed up to the point now where it has been cancelled, for the foreseeable future at least.

Other changes

While the cancellation of fuel duty rise has been lapping up a lot of media coverage, other changes affecting UK motorists were also announced today, covering areas including road tax exemption, off-road notifications and company car tax.

In big news for fleet operators, the Chancellor has confirmed in today’s budget that he would be extending a 100 per cent first year tax allowance for buyers of vehicles with very low emissions outputs. New company car tax rates have also been announced for the lowest emitting cars.

Osborne commented: “From April 2015, two new company car tax bands will be introduced at 0-50g/km and 51-75g/km CO2”.

In other developments, the government has also announced in today’s budget that the cut-off date for road tax exemption, specifically for classic cars, has been extended by one year.

This means that from now and up until 1 April 2014, any vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1974 will be exempt from paying road tax.

In an effort to reduce administration costs it has also been declared in today’s Budget that Statuary Off-Road Notifications (SORN) will now last indefinitely and will no longer require renewal every year.

The grace period for not displaying a tax disc on a vehicle, when you have paid for it, has also been extended to 14 days in total.