Drive a diesel van or car for work? These are the changes you need to know about

Fuel duty has been frozen again, marking the longest period without a rate rise in 40 years – but the outlook isn’t so rosy if you use diesel. Unless you’re driving a diesel van, that is…

Diesel drivers to be penalised

As predicted, Philip Hammond’s 2017 Budget announced penalties for diesel drivers.

This April, new diesel cars that don’t meet the latest emission standards will face a one-band increase in the first-band vehicle excise duty rate.

Vehicle excise duty (VED) is calculated based on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions, and for the first 12 months it ranges from zero up to £2,000.

On top of this, the existing diesel supplement in company car tax will be going up by one per cent.

Vans exempt for current rate hike

Importantly, the Chancellor made it clear that vans would be exempt from the current hikes in VED and company car tax.

“And we only apply the measures to cars,” he said during his address to Commons, “So before the headline writers start limbering up let me be quite clear: no white van man or woman will be hit by these measures.”

Government pledges construction training and 300,000 new houses

While the change to fuel duty will likely have the biggest immediate impact on tradespeople, there are some other parts of the 2017 Budget that you should be aware of:

  • By mid-2020 the government aims to be building 300,000 new homes each year
  • The tax-free personal allowance will increase to £11,850 in April next year
  • There will be a new national retraining scheme focusing on digital skills and construction
  • The National Living Wage will increase to £7.83 in April next year
  • There will be £44 billion in government support, including loan guarantees, to boost construction skills

How will this year’s Budget impact you? Let us know in the comments.

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