Fleet News

Eleventh hour bid to avert VED change date

A LAST-ditch bid to force the Government to abandon its plans to introduce graduated vehicle excise duty in October has been made by three motor trade associations. The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, the Retail Motor Industry Federation and the Finance & Leasing Association have written a joint letter to Financial Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms saying seven months' notice is not enough for the industry to gear up for the change.

Instead the trio has called for the Government to announce full details of the new system in Tuesday's Budget, as planned, but defer its introduction to March 1, 2001. In the March 1999 Budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown outlined the new system of graduated vehicle excise duty for new cars based on carbon dioxide emissions to be introduced in autumn 2000 - believed to be October - although no consultation has taken place. Since then the Government has only announced that there will be four CO2 rate bands and that further information would be provided in Tuesday's Budget, although there are fears that the system may be further differentiated by fuel type and penalise diesel.

This week the three organisations told Timms: 'It is not possible for the industries we represent to prepare adequately for such a major new duty.' Delaying the launch date would, say the organisations, give the motor industry time to prepare for the new system and ensure definitive CO2 emissions data will be available for all new cars before the implementation date.

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