Autumn Budget 2023: what does it mean for motorists?

November 22, 2023 by

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has delivered the Autumn Statement for 2023 – there’s not much for motorists, but road tax is on the rise. Read on to find out more…

The Autumn Statement 2023 wasn’t particularly interesting if you’re a motorist, but the good news is that there is no change to the fuel duty freeze, meaning prices won’t suddenly jump at the pumps.

Below are the main talking points for drivers, which also addresses an increase in road tax and good news for public charging infrastructure.

Autumn Statement 2023: no changes to fuel duty freeze

During the Spring Budget, Hunt announced that fuel duty would be frozen at 52.95 pence per litre for 12 months, and that the 5 pence per litre discount introduced in March 2022 would also be extended by 12 months.

Although Hunt had been under pressure to increase fuel duty, there are no plans to change what was announced during the Spring Budget. This will be a relief to motorists, as a Carwow survey found that 73% think it’s important that the Chancellor commits to keeping the freeze on fuel duty.

Autumn Statement 2023: road tax to increase with inflation

In April 2023, vehicle excise duty (VED) increased in line with inflation, and this will happen again from 1 April 2024. That means the flat rate paid from year two, as well as the first-year rate, will increase, though zero-emission vehicles will continue to be exempt.

However, VED for HGVs, as well as the HGV levy, “will both remain at 2023-24 rates for 2024-25”.

Autumn Statement 2023: electric car chargepoints

Hunt referenced the UK’s ‘outdated’ planning systems for building infrastructure and how it restricts investment and holds up progress.

As part of this, electric car chargepoints will be given priority within the planning system to ‘accelerate the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure’.

Indirectly benefiting electric car uptake and existing owners is the fact that an ‘Action Plan’ is being introduced to halve the time to build new grid infrastructure, which includes proposals that will reduce electricity bills, making EV ownership less expensive.

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