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2015 Budget - How UK Motorists Might Benefit
posted on Mar 19 2015 by Kiri Nowak
Yesterday the 2015 budget was announced and Brits were keen to see what changes have been made. What the automotive industry wants to know is, how might UK motorists benefit from the budget? Some things that are presented as benefits may not feel like benefits at all to some people, it entirely depends on where your interests lie.
George Osborne actually made a point of praising the automotive industry in his budget speech, explaining that it has been a key contributor to the UK’s economic growth. He said 'Britain's manufacturing output has grown more than four-and-a-half times faster than it did in the entire decade before the crisis. We are seeing a truly national recovery.’
If you support driverless cars then you will probably be pleased that the government plans to invest a whopping £100 million into the development of driverless cars. Some people may feel that this huge amount of money would be better spent elsewhere. The government claims it will help the UK to ‘stay ahead in the race to driverless technology’.
The money will be used to fund research and development into the technology and systems required to make driverless cars a real possibility. Driverless cars were first tested in the UK earlier this year, with this kind of investment where could this concept potentially be in a few years’ time. The possibilities are mind blowing.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said. ‘The £100 million injection into connected car research, development and testing - to be matched by industry - will provide a vital boost to the UK automotive industry and put us ahead in the global race to build the cars of the future.’
The government also plans to invest £3.4 billion in building new roads. Roads that will be upgraded include the M1, A1 and M62. They are also looking to build a tunnel under Stonehenge (presumably to prevent those pointless queues.
Petrol fuel duty has also been frozen for a fifth year in a row, he proposed 0.54p per lire duty escalator has been scrapped. This was due to come into effect in September 2015. Osborne said 'I want to make sure that the falling oil price is passed on.’ Also announced in this year’s budget was that fuel will potentially be 5p cheaper in rural areas because of new countryside tax relief changes that start on April 1st 2015.
Other budget changes to note include:
Classic car registered before the 1st of January 1976 will be exempt from tax
Reduced rate of increase in company car tax for low-emission vehicles. However, unfortunately rates for other vehicles will rise by 3% in 2019/20.
Yearly road tax is expected to rise because of inflation on 1 April 2015. 'Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates for cars, vans, motorcycles and motorcycle trade licences will increase by RPI.’
Severn road toll reduced from 2018
South West to receive £7bn in transport investment.
Help for electric cars. 'The government announced in February 2015 the launch of a £10 million ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) battery prize, which will see a UK-based collaboration of manufacturers and researchers develop a new commercially viable battery pack for ULEVS. The winner will be announced in summer 2015.'