What The 2020 Budget Means For UK Drivers
Let’s put COVID-19 aside for a moment and focus on some important motoring news. In addition to a major headline of investments exceeding £600bn for infrastructure projects and unlimited resources in support of the NHS, the Government also revealed several important plans relevant to motorists.
As part of the £600bn investment in UK infrastructure, £300 million will go towards tackling nitrous oxide emissions in towns and cities. What else does the 2020 budget mean for motorists and Britain in general?
What’s New In Motoring News?
Among others, there is a continued freeze on fuel duty along with investment packages towards fast-charging networks and strategic roads. Today’s motoring news involves looking at the 2020 budget in more detail as it offers something for everyone.
Frozen Fuel Duty
Rishi Sunak’s first Budget as Chancellor starts off with fuel duty. It’s been frozen for the 10th consecutive year and something Mr Sunak was keen to highlight as many believed it couldn’t be done. According to a recent RAC survey, double the amount of drivers that wanted fuel duty slashed would happily pay the same as long as they invest it in local road improvement.
Here’s a breakdown of the current fuel duties:
- 95 pence per litre for petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol
- 61 pence per kg on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
- 70 pence per kg on natural gas used as fuel in vehicles (biogas)
- 70 pence per litre on ‘fuel oil’ burned in a furnace or used in heating
Mr Sunak claims that the continued fuel duty freeze could provide drivers with a saving of £1,200 compared to 2010.
Plug-in Car Grant Extended
The Government promised a ‘comprehensive package of tax and spending reforms’ to make zero- and low-emission vehicles more affordable. This sees a budget of £403 million with plans to extend the plug-in car grant until 2022/23. However, the amount off the list price of an EV will be cut from up to £3,500 to up to £3,000.
RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said it’s “something we called for and which will provide a real long-term boost for drivers who plan on changing their vehicle in the next couple of years but find the current upfront costs prohibitive.”
Motoring News And Vehicle Excise Duty
The Government provided further incentives for motorists who are planning on purchasing an electric vehicle. They announced that the budget includes zero-emission cars being exempt from the ‘expensive car supplement’ Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). There is also a call to explore how VED can be used to further encourage electric vehicles and reducing CO2 emissions.
Mr Lyes added: “Our research suggests that cost is one of the biggest barriers for drivers who want to switch to an electric vehicle and the steps taken today will provide clarity and certainty for both consumers and manufacturers.”
Considering the plans to bring forward a ban on the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles, this is good motoring news, especially for people looking to switch to an EV.
Recommended: ‘Buying a car this year? Petrol, diesel or electric?’
Rapid Charging Stations And Electric Vehicles
If there was ever a doubt over EV infrastructure, a £500 million pledge should help significantly. It is set for the next five years in support of rolling out fast-charging networks.
The investment will benefit drivers of electric vehicles in alleviating the ‘range anxiety’ as the plan includes having a rapid-charging station every 30 miles. It also includes a Rapid Charging Fund in aid of businesses covering the costs of connecting high-powered charge points to the electricity grid.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said: “We are pleased to see the Chancellor found room in his Budget to help make zero-emission motoring a more viable option for more drivers – essential if we are to begin to meet extremely challenging environmental ambitions.”
Funding Grant Of £2.5 billion For Filling Potholes
Pothole damage is a serious concern which brings to more good motoring news. As Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised, Parliament is providing £500 million per year for five years to fill 50 million potholes. While it’s a big step in the right direction, there are concerns over whether that will be enough, especially if the UK experiences extreme winter weather.
This is not unfounded as independent estimates from the Asphalt Industry Alliance calculated that it could cost up £9.3 billion to repair UK roads. Mr Sunak also announced plans to upgrade several local roads. These include refurbishing Kew Bridge, a single-carriageway bypass on the A39 Atlantic Highway as well as junction improvements to the A12, just east of Ipswich.
Record-breaking Investment In Upgrading Strategic Roads
In addition to pothole repair, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the biggest ever investment in English strategic roads. They promised more than £27 billion of tarmac to “work on over 20 connections to ports and airports, over 100 junctions, 4,000 miles of road.”
Motorists should welcome these efforts to increase capacity as traffic has become a real issue across the country. Mr Lyes from RAC also said that congestion is a major concern for more than a fifth of drivers. For that reasons, it’s essential to continue keeping drivers and Britain moving forward.
In conclusion, the Government is adding £1 billion to the Transforming Cities Fund covering new infrastructure such as a Central Park Bridge in Plymouth. There is a further £4.2bn for a five-year, integrated transport settlement for eight regions.
Elite Garages On Motoring News 2020
While there are funds for many different areas, the concern could be timelines and whether it will be enough. Hydrogen and EVs are continuing in popularity and it’s just a matter of time before they replace internal combustion engines. But are we really ready for such a transition?
Then there are the roads across Britain riddled with potholes that can cause severe damage to all vehicles. Putting money aside is one thing but repairs could take some time. Are there measures in place to divert traffic during road works to avoid even more traffic?
Elite Garages continues to bring you the latest motoring news in spite of everything that’s going on. Our branches are spread across 13 locations nationwide offering car servicing, MOTs, tyres, brakes and exhausts among others. If pothole damage is what you are concerned about, book a free wheel alignment check today!