I agree with critics of new car tax rules

New car tax rules[1] are set to be introduced impacting how much is paid by millions of drivers every year. For the first time, electric vehicle owners will have to pay tax from April 2025. Everyone who owns an electric car and anyone considering buying one is being warned to prepare for the changes.

The Government says electric car drivers are being brought into line with everyone else to make the vehicle tax system fairer. On one hand, you might think that's fair enough. But surely this is removing one of the key incentives of 'going green' and switching to electric cars.

Get our best money saving tips and hacks by signing up to our newsletter[3] Research has shown that public confidence in electric vehicles is low enough as it is. The Government and motoring industry faces a huge task in convincing petrol and diesel owners to switch to electric over the coming years.

Chief among concerns of motorists are battery life ('am I going to run out of juice on a long journey up the motorway, leaving me stranded?') and a lack of charging points, which is still a major problem considering the whole country is expected to be going fully electric during the next decade. It takes a long time to shift attitudes which are entrenched. The same is true with any traditions in life.

People know what they like and they like what they know, and many are suspicious of new ways of doing things. Not everyone took to the internet or mobile phones at first - 'we've managed this far without them'. Electric cars might be just fine but people know how petrol and diesel cars work, they trust them and they know how much fuel they have to put in the tank to get them where they need to go.

The point is, surely anything that incentivises the switch to electric needs to be preserved, for now at least? Saving 180 quid a year might be the difference between someone deciding to get an electric car or stick with their petrol or diesel motor for a bit longer. The time will obviously come when electric car owners need to pay tax, as more of them replace older models and they become the dominant vehicle on the roads.

Unless the Government rips up the road tax system anyway, and that doesn't appear likely. While motoring organisation the RAC say they don't expect the changes to have a major impact on electric car sales, ALD Automotive claimed it sent "mixed messages" to motorists. The Treasury clearly sees the amount of revenue it is losing through electric car owners not paying tax.

But would it really hurt to keep the current system in place for a few more years at least at a time when it has never been more important to take steps to improve air quality?


  1. ^ tax rules (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ If your car finance company is on this list you could get GBP1,100 in your bank account (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Get our best money saving tips and hacks by signing up to our newsletter (www.birminghammail.co.uk)