In last year’s Autumn Budget, it was announced that further changes would be made to first-year Vehicle Excise Duty for most diesel engine cars. These changes come into effect on vehicles registered from 1st April 2018. Vehicles registered before this date are unaffected.

The changes bridge the gap between now and when all new cars must comply with Real Driving Emissions from September 2019. The new Real Driving Emission Standards will mean that in the future, all new cars will no longer be tested in laboratories but, in more realistic conditions to include additional vehicle payload, up-and-down hill driving and a mix of real-life motorway, rural and urban driving on roads.

It is expected that as a result, the future emissions quoted by manufacturers on new cars will rise, with a likely outcome that they will feature in higher Vehicle Excise Duty bandings. The changes coming for April pre-empt this by having the effect of moving most diesel vehicles to the next band up.
So, what does this mean if you’re considering buying a new car right now?
If you’re considering a diesel car with emissions under 130g/km the changes are minimal, no more than £40 in the first year and therefore unlikely to influence your final decision. Typical vehicles in this group include:

  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Skoda Octavia & Karoq
  • Seat Arona
  • Audi A3 & A4
  • Mercedes-Benz A Class & C Class

However, if the vehicles of choice sit above 130g/km then you wish to consider your options as typical increases are £300 rising to £500 more for vehicles above 170g/km. Typical vehicles in this group include:

  • Nissan X-Trail
  • Seat Ateca
  • Skoda Kodiaq
  • Audi Q5 & Q7
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC & GLE
  • Land-Rover Discovery
  • A number of larger estates/saloon with All Wheel Drive like Audi A6 AllRoad

So, what are the options?

The changes come into place for vehicles registered from 1st April. You could take delivery of your car in March and the current rates apply, thus avoiding any increases.
Consider a petrol, hybrid or plug-in hybrid as an alternative. More and more manufacturers are offering these as variants in their ranges.
Commercial vehicles are not affected by the changes and there is now a wider choice of Double Cab pickups which offer a car-like driving experience and high levels of standard equipment.

We have access to a wide range of stock and pipeline vehicles deliverable before the end of March and all available with discounts.
For full details call us on 01473 372020 or email