PROPOSALS to increase new vehicle registration tax have been criticised by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) as an extra burden on the fleet industry.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has suggested the tax rise to help pay for the extra costs involved in driving licence administration.
BVRLA director general John Lewis said: 'This is another tax increase on the fleet industry and on consumers from a Government that, despite raising more in taxes than any previous government, can never get enough.
'It is appalling to suggest new car buyers should subsidise the DVLA's inability to manage its driving licence administration to at least the break even point. Apparently this is not the case and the driving licence register is losing money. Now the DVLA is suggesting that the new vehicle registration fee should be increased to cover their losses.
'It really is a question of robbing Peter to pay Paul when Paul should be standing on his own financial feet to begin with.'
He added that BVRLA members buy 40% of all the new cars sold in Britain. An increase in the first registration fee to £32 from £25 would, according to Lewis, cost members an extra £7 million a year.
Lewis added: 'This whole scenario is yet another example of the fleet industry striving to make itself ever more efficient and cut costs for customers, only to have the Government promptly take advantage of cost reductions and slap on further taxes.'