Apr '1713

New Toxin Tax Sickens Many UK Motorists


This year, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom may have taken things too far when she pranked 35 towns and cities by unleashing a new road tax for, well, virtually everybody on the road – except here’s the thing: she’s not joking around. We’re going to explain everything you need to know about the new Road tax, and if you’re unfortunate enough to be stuck with a diesel car, then we’re quite sorry in advance. 

What is the “Toxin Tax”?

Effective April 1st, a series of new taxes and fees aimed at reducing air pollution went into effect for some of the busiest cities and towns around the UK. The taxes only apply to new cars that were purchased on or after the first of April, but the fees and penalties apply to pretty much everyone (more on that in a second).

Buying a new car? Here are the basics: All new cars are taxed according to their CO2 emissions rate. The more CO2 your vehicle emits, the more you pay. You normally pay the “first-year rate” up front at the dealership.

The specifics: Your CO2 tax rate will increase over time, depending on what you drive: Electric cars will have no tax rate increase.Alternative fuel vehicles will experience a £130 increase.Petrol and diesel vehicles will experience a £140 increase.

Even more specifically: If your car cost more than £40 thousand, you pay an additional £310.This is on top of the original CO2 tax rate.

As mentioned, if your car was bought before April 1st, then none of these taxes apply. However, don’t think you’re getting off free just yet. We’ve got a special section for you to hate us for (please don’t).
Fees and Penalties

Depending on where you live and what you drive, you may experience daily fees for the privilege of being on the road. If you are entering a “low-emission zone”, you might have to pay a “congestion” fee of £12.50 every day – and some lawmakers are suggesting it be raised it all the way to £20.

This is all, of course, assuming that your vehicle is not banned outright, which could happen at any point and time with little warning. Some of these diesel bans look to be temporary, and some seem quite permanent. Other places are suggesting temporary travel restrictions on even petrol-based vehicles that will be based on constantly-changing weather data. 

Oh, and starting October of 2017, a £10 toxicity fee will be added for any petrol and diesel travellers who enter a low-emission zone in a vehicle that’s been registered before 2006. This is on top of the standard congestion fee, which means soon it will be very easy to have to pay over £20 just to use your beat-up old car every day. 

Wait, I Bought A Diesel Because the Government Told Me To!

Many diesel motorists are miffed because they bought a diesel vehicle after being incentivised by tax breaks. However, the broad scope of the new rules is leaving many of them with the feeling that they’re being unfairly punished for doing as they were told. Even the pre-Euro 6 standard diesel rides, which were recently introduced in 2015, are now being penalised for excessive CO2 emissions under the new regulations. 

There was once talk of a national scrappage program where citizens would be paid for their cars, but the government has abandoned this notion, citing a potential £2 billion loss if it were to have gone through. With no relief in sight, many motorists are now burdened with yet another road expense that they can hardly afford.  

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