The Budget announcement that June 1 would see the launch of reduced VED for the UK's smallest cars has been strongly criticised by the foundation, which points out that only 2.2million of the 25.5million cars on the UK's roads are sub-1100cc.
Foundation executive director Edmund King said: 'We welcomed the Government's intention to reward the drivers of cleaner cars but are not convinced that basing the financial incentive on engine size actually works. A system based on miles per gallon or emissions would more clearly reflect the cleaner vehicles.
'Technology has developed rapidly but Government thinking seems to be some way behind. Many engines exceed the 1100cc by 100cc or so and drivers of these cars are understandably angry at their exclusion from the reduction in VED. Often a slightly larger car can be more fuel-efficient than a smaller one as it does not have to force the engine. This is just a green smokescreen. Where is the environmental justification for rewarding a possibly badly maintained, high-mileage old vehicle just because of its engine size and not a larger, newer vehicle with lower emissions?'