Fuel Duty

Both petrol and diesel duty continue to be frozen, cancelling planned rise that was scheduled for April.
The Government will review whether the existing fuel duty rates for alternatives to petrol and diesel are appropriate, ahead of decisions at Budget 2018. In the meantime, the fuel duty escalator for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) will end. The LPG rate will be frozen in 2018-19, alongside the main rate of fuel duty.

Air Quality
Following the new taxes on diesel cars, the Government will provide £220 million for a new Clean Air Fund to support the National Air Quality Plan published in July. This money will be provided to local authorities across England to address pollution problems and assist both individuals and businesses to adapt to new air quality standards.
The Government is launching a consultation alongside Budget on options that could be supported by this fund.

Taxation on employee business expense
The Government has confirmed it has no plans for a fundamental reform to the tax relief for employee expenses. However, the Government has decided to introduce changes in the following areas:

  • Self-funded training – The government will consult in 2018 on extending the scope of the tax relief currently available to employees and the self-employed for work-related training costs, to support lifelong learning and retraining.
  • Guidance and claims process for employee expenses – HMRC will work with external stakeholders to improve the guidance on employee expenses, particularly on travel and subsistence and the process for claiming tax relief on non-reimbursed employment expenses.

Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage (NMW)
The National Living wage will increase by 4.4% from £7.50 to £7.83 from April 2018, which is estimated to benefit over 2 million workers.
The Government will also accept and implement a series of recommendations by the Low Pay Commission. This means that from April 2018, the Living Wage will increase for the following age rates:

➢ 4.7% rise for 21 to 24-year olds, from £7.05 to £7.38 per hour;
➢ 5.4% rise for 18 to 20-year olds, from £5.60 to £5.90 per hour;
➢ 3.7% rise for 16 to 17-year olds, from £4.05 to £4.20 per hour; and
➢ 5.7% rise for apprentices, from £3.50 to £3.70 per hour.

The Hyundai i130 (the manufacturers first hot hatch) will be available to purchase in the UK on January 4 2018. The pricing and specification has been released and it will be available in two specifications.

Personal leasing is growing faster than business leasing, according to the BVRLA’s latest Leasing Survey.

It showed that the total business fleet leasing market for cars and vans has grown 7.6% year-on-year to 1.35 million, but the Personal Contract Hire sector grew by 36% in the same period.

Figures for Q2 2017 show that the car portion of the business fleet leasing market rose 2.4% to 979,000, outstripped by the LCV sector which grew by 14.9% to 371,000.

Total car leasing (all leasing types) grew by 8% year-on-year down from 11% in Q1 2017 but much of this growth continues to be driven by the PCH.

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BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney (pictured) said: “Personal contract hire continues to drive growth in the car leasing market and this is having a clear impact on the automotive industry’s long-term goal of reducing CO2 emissions.

“Company cars are cleaner than the average privately procured car, and the government should be supporting this market with a progressive company car tax regime that doesn’t encourage people to do their own thing.”

Average CO2 figures for newly registered lease cars grew to 111.8g/km in Q2 2017, up from 110.8g/km (+0.9%) from the previous quarter and up 0.7% compared to the same period in 2016.

The main reason for this rise is likely to be the increasing share of PCH vehicles within the wider BVRLA leasing fleet. The average PCH car on the BVRLA member fleet had emissions of 120g/km CO2, compared to the 111g/km of those on contract hire.

The growth in average new car emissions was mirrored by the wider market, where average emissions for all new car registrations rose to 121.3 g/km, up by 0.7% year-on-year and the previous quarter.

Overall, the newly registered BVRLA member lease car still has average emissions 8% lower than the overall UK new car market.

The proportion of diesel cars in the BVRLA fleet remains static at 74.9% in Q2 2017, but has fallen 2.5% compared to the same period in 2016. Last quarter saw the proportion of new diesel registrations rise slightly to 68.1%, although this figure is 6.5% down year-on-year.

Article by Matt de Prez

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Tax changes 2017

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