The Government is to hold a consultation on lowering Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates payable on the cleanest vans.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made the announcement during his Spring Statement.
VED rates for vans are not currently based on emissions, unlike with cars, where drivers of vehicles emitting less CO2 pay less tax.
Currently, vans registered on or after 1 March 2001 cost £240 a year to tax.
There is a discount available for Euro 4 compliant vans registered between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2006, and for Euro 5 compliant vans registered between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010, both of which cost £140 a year to tax.
No such discount is currently available for Euro 6 compliant vans.
Matthew Walters, head of Consultancy and Consumer Data Services at leasing firm Leaseplan, gave a cautious welcome to the government’s proposal to consider lowering VED for the cleanest vans.
“This is welcome news. As a founding member of the EV100 initiative (to encourage the transition to electric vehicles), LeasePlan is committed to low emissions. We strongly believe that vans should be part of this conversation as much as cars,” Walters said.
““However, it should be noted that the government has already launched several consultations in this area – including one on electric vans – but is yet to announce the outcomes of them. If the chancellor is to help us deliver on what’s next, then he needs to start confirming some of his policies.”
Chris Chandler, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, took the opportunity to make the case for the latest generation diesel engines.
He said: "The consultation on reduced VED rates for the cleanest vans has the potential to be positive news for fleets. With new lower emission models coming on line, now is a good time for van fleets to start thinking about going green.
"We encourage customers to engage in the consultation, making it clear that the latest Euro6 diesels remain the most practicable option for many."