Fleet News

Government admits engine size is not major factor

THE Government has admitted that engine size has little direct relation to fuel economy or emissions. Yet blaming large engines for pollution was one of its key arguments behind plans to introduce graduated vehicle excise duty to discourage larger-engined cars.

In a written parliamentary answer on the quantity of carbon dioxide produced by vehicles, junior transport minister Glenda Jackson said emissions from cars depended on a number of factors, including fuel and engine size. But, importantly, she added it also had to take into account driving conditions, driving behaviour and the maintenance of the vehicle.

The Government is trying to incentivise 'cleaner smaller cars', by cutting their excise duty by £50, while discouraging less environmentally-friendly cars by increasing their VED. This will have to be implemented according to information already held at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, and that is where the problem lies, because the DVLA only records a vehicle's date of registration, engine size and fuel type - an insufficient basis for any judgement on what constitutes 'cleaner and smaller'.

Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions' own figures have shown that it would be unfair to base VED on engine size. Small cars are not always either the most fuel-efficient or environmentally friendly in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment

Comments

No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee