Fleet News

Scrap autumn VED change plans, says industry figures

THE Government should scrap plans to introduce graduated Vehicle Excise Duty in 'autumn 2000' to avoid plunging the fleet industry into a 'monumental muddle', it was claimed this week. The call for a delay to March 1, 2001 - to coincide with the launch of Y-registered cars - came from British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association director general Norman Donkin.

His stance was welcomed by Stewart Whyte, director of the Association of Car Fleet Operators, who said ACFO had made the same proposal three months ago. Both ACFO and the BVRLA are adamant that the switch to the four-band carbon dioxide-based graduated VED system should coincide with either the March or September changes in registration letter prefix.

When Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown pledged in his March 1999 Budget that the new VED regime would come into effect in 'autumn 2000' it was generally taken to mean September 1, 2000 to coincide with the launch of X-plate cars. But last month, it was revealed that the was likely to be introduced in October 2000, prompting fears that the change of date could spark 'monumental chaos and huge confusion'.

Donkin said: 'It would be in everyone's interest for the Government to stop what is in danger of becoming a monumental muddle, come clean and delay the autumn 2000 date and get everything in place - data and systems - and then announce the implementation date. The BVRLA believes that given the paucity of information, the introduction of graduated VED should be postponed to give proper time for the preparations needed to introduce it.'

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