Spring budget 2024: what does it mean for motorists? 

March 06, 2024 by

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The Chancellor’s spring budget has been announced, but what does this mean for motorists? Read on to find out. 

In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has announced that the 5p-per-litre discount on fuel duty will remain frozen for a further 12 months. He says the average motorist will save around £50 a year as a result.

However, the government has ignored the requests from the car industry and consumer groups to help with the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by introducing incentives for consumers to buy EVs, investing in the public charging infrastructure, or reducing the VAT on electricity prices at public charging points to bring them in line with domestic tariffs.

Carwow’s pre-budget poll showed that motorists want to make the switch – 38% are considering an EV for their next car – but the lack of charge points is a real issue and ‘more EV charge points’ was top of motorists’ Spring Budget wish list – 59% said this would be their top priority vs 56% who said a fuel duty freeze.

The car industry has been quick to express its views on the Spring Budget.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Government has been keen to assure the UK automotive industry’s competitiveness, with support for EV development and manufacturing – including £2.1 billion in autumn’s Advanced Manufacturing Plan – but there is little to help consumer demand. Today’s Budget is, therefore, a missed opportunity to deliver fairer tax for a fair transition. Reducing VAT on new EVs, revising vehicle taxation to promote rather than punish going electric, and an end to the VAT ‘pavement penalty’ on public charging would have energised the market. With both Government and industry having statutory requirements to deliver net zero, more still needs to be done to help consumers make the switch.”

FIAT UK’s Managing Director, Damien Dally said: It’s hugely disappointing that the Chancellor has failed to reinstate financial incentives for electric vehicle buyers in today’s budget. The government has set the direction of travel by enforcing the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate and Net Zero target, but is doing nothing to incentivise retail customers to drive electric vehicles.”

James Taylor, Vauxhall’s Managing Director commented: “Today’s Spring Budget has not delivered the acceleration needed to stop the UK’s transition to electric vehicles from stalling. If we are to meet the rightly ambitious targets laid out in the Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate (80% of all cars sold to be electric by 2030) then there needs to be incentives for private car buyers to make the switch to electric as there are in the majority of European nations.”

2019 Vauxhall Corsa-e

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