Should diesel drivers be charged £800 more in tax?

11 March 2016

petrol_guage A think tank has said that Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for new diesel cars should be whacked up by £800 to improve everyone's air quality. What do you think of that, diesel vehicle owners?

There's more - Policy Exchange also think that the higher tax should also fund a scrappage scheme for older diesel vehicles. How about that?

They think that £500 million could could be raised every year through such a charge, and the proceeds could be put towards £2,000 grants for those who have older diesels to buy themselves a more environmentally friendly vehicle.

They're arguing that people who bought diesels in good faith, years ago, shouldn't be penalised for their decision. Once upon a time, they were seen as being more environmentally than normal petrol vehicles. However, things have changed and we now know about the nitrogen dioxide which comes from exhausts, which has led to a number of deaths in the UK each year, reaching the tens of thousands.

Car emissions are a hot topic since the VW scandal which found that vehicles had been cheating tests.

Richard Howard, head of environment and energy at Policy Exchange, said: "If we are to clean up air pollution then the Government needs to recognise that diesel is the primary cause of the problem, and to promote a shift to alternatives."

"This needs to be done in a way which does not unduly penalise existing diesel drivers, who bought their vehicle in good faith, and gives motorists sufficient time to respond. Instead of increasing diesel fuel duty or banning diesels from city centres, the Government should look to increase taxes on new diesel cars and offer scrappage grants to take old polluting diesels off the road."

TOPICS:   Motoring


  • jim
    hardly fair - considering people were advised to get diesels a few years ago.
  • Mike
    Yes they should as i have a petrol car and get fairly jealous that i don't get the same kind of mileage. I know i could have bought a diesel but it would have cost more money from the outset, they should pay more to even it out.
  • arthur
    why not stop h g v as well . then there will be no food or goods delivered to shops. the best way is to stop all these goverment bods and no gooders from driving about in moters
  • thefunboi
    Isnt car tax already based on emissions? Get the feeling this is just a reaction to the probably dwindling revenue now as newer cars fall under the older emission levels set and become exempt or on the lowest rate. If they want to stop it, yes, new cars hit them on new purchase, but you cant do it to existing owners. The last paragraph is completely on point. And no, I dont drive a diesel! A 4.2 litre (highly environmentally friendly I'm sure) petrol car. But then there you go, Im sure theres diesels out there less polluting than my petrol one...
  • Father J.
    @Mike your jealousy of diesel drivers is an entirely sound basis for policy making. Well done. Diesels don't have to cost more, the last one I bought cost £180 and lasted 18 months. I even got £70 off the scrappers when I weighed it in.
  • Marvin
    How does one work in a think tank, and who the hell is funding them all?
  • Sledge
    How does taxing new vehicles (and not older one) encourage drivers of older vehicles to enrol in a scrappage scheme? It would result in a situation where it makes financial sense to hang on to the old jalopy a few more years, rather than attract the new penalty. The whole idea needs a rethink.
  • Coran
    Diesel has been known to be a big NOx producer for over a decade. If you don’t do your research, suffer the consequences. The US was reducing/banning diesel from mines in 2001, and state buses in 2008. But more importantly, who the hell has the right to continue throwing cancer causing chemicals into the air, giving everyone else lung cancer?! Get rid of that machine and buy a new one. And maybe do better research next time.
  • **Paul**
    The big issue with diesel cars are the older ones that pump out plumes of sooty rubbish. Anything without a particle filter should have VED rates increasing year on year to encourage people to get rid of them. Diesels with particle filters? They're not the issue. Buses, Trucks and older cars are prime offenders for air pollution.
  • Mr W.
    @Mike - what kind of logic is that?! " I know i could have bought a diesel but it would have cost more money from the outset, they should pay more to even it out." So you're admitting diesel car owners pay more money at the outset...and then say they should have to pay more "to even it out". Engage your brain and think your arguments through before inflicting them on the world.

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