Chancellor Philip Hammond has spared van owners from a tax hike in his 2017 Budget.
Hammond announced that an increase in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for diesel cars that do not meet the latest emission standards (those not certified by the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test) would come into force in April 2018 but said vans would not be subject to a similar tax rise.
BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) boss Gerry Keaney said: "Fleets across the UK will be breathing a sigh of relief that the Chancellor has not increased the tax burden on commercial vehicle operators. This is the fair thing to do as they have no realistic alternative to using a diesel van or truck."
Hammond also confirmed the fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel scheduled for April 2018 would be scrapped but pledged £220m from the VED uplift on diesel cars to a new clean air fund and directed £540m towards supporting the growth of electric vehicles, including £400m for building up the charging point infrastructure.
John Watkins, executive chairman of telematics firm Trakm8, said the clean air fund and increased funding for charge points would “incentivise fleets to invest in electric LCVs for urban deliveries.”
Matt Dyer, managing director of vehicle leasing company Leaseplan UK, welcomed the chancellor’s decision to freeze Fuel Duty but added: “Even with a freeze, fuel prices are still rising. If this continues, the chancellor should consider cutting duty rates for the first time since 2011.”
Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, claimed Hammond had missed an opportunity to boost economic growth by cutting Fuel Duty.