a The retired bishop, who has replaced the polluting diesel car with a more green plug-in hybrid model, has described the government’s environmental policies as “absolutely insane”, as his road tax went from zero to £480 a year Was.
The Rev. Robert Patterson, who lives near Evesham in Worcestershire, was impressed by the bill after switching to a secondhand BMW 330e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), which claims a maximum fuel economy of 200 miles per gallon , and emits only 32 g CO . NS2 per km, as per its official rating. It cost around £33,000.
The aging 2014 diesel-powered VW Golf that BMW replaced – a car soon deemed too polluting to operate in London without an additional £12.50-a-day fee – levied no road tax.
Patterson’s new car has been damaged by a 2017 change to the tax regime, which brings in higher fees on vehicles costing more than £40,000 when new. This affects many plug-in hybrids as they are more expensive to manufacture. This means owners face a £335-year tax surcharge for five years from the second year of ownership, regardless of whether they are ultra-low CO2 emissions or gas-guzzling sports cars.
“I have chosen to drive relatively ‘green’ cars for 20 years. Although my Golf was considered green when I bought it, it is less so now,” Paterson says.
“The BMW has been a revelation, especially the way it is adapted for city use, often emitting no emissions. Since I last refueled six weeks ago, it has only driven 300 miles on electric mode. of, and it uses very little petrol.”
If he had bought a Ferrari of the same age, he would have had £480 less a year. Only 100% electric cars are still tax free.
The AA has called for reforms in a regime that its president, Edmund King, has described as “perverted”.
A government consultation on vehicle excise duties, which was launched in March last year, noted that the 2017 rules particularly affected sales of used cars, “where it is necessary for buyers to choose low-emission cars”. incentive is reduced”, and asked to consider whether the system should be changed.
“We have repeatedly urged the Treasury to reconsider this position and have recently been consulted, yet they have not published the findings,” King says.
“Instead of providing incentives and encouraging motorists to move to cleaner, less polluting cars, the current tax regime is inflicting higher bills on some people who opt for greener cars. It’s a little messy.”
What makes Patterson particularly disappointing is that if he had bought a conventional petrol or diesel BMW with a lower initial list price, he would have paid £155 a year to tax the car after the first year – its Despite that it is producing far more carbon, and making fewer miles per gallon.
“The whole thing is completely insane and needs to be changed immediately,” Paterson says. “Until the batteries become more effective, PHEVs are a sensible way for many people, so why are their owners being punished like this while the more polluting cars go scot-free? What don’t you understand here?”
The Treasury says: “Hybrid vehicles are an important technology in reducing emissions and our reformed vehicle excise system seeks to reflect this while providing the largest incentive to zero-emissions vehicles and ensuring the sustainability of public finances over the long term. Is.
“In the current system, all vehicles over £40,000 other than zero-emissions cars have to pay an additional expensive car supplement – those that can afford the most expensive cars carry a huge burden.”
Last month, Boris Johnson’s climate spokesman Allegra Stratton caused some consternation when she revealed she “didn’t envision” to switch to an electric car because her third diesel VW Golf was “much better” to her.