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LOW-CO2 CARS: Emissions regime tightens, although choices still plentiful

Date: 13 June 2013

The rules surrounding company and driver tax bills continue to push business car fleets into cleaner models, but there's an increasing number of options when it comes to lower-emission vehicles. Paul Barker reports.

The Treasury's 2013 Budget statement made it clearer than any in memory how the Government will lay out the future business car taxation and the emissions boundaries it sees as key over the next few years.

Chancellor George Osborne has, like his mayor of London and Conservative colleague Boris Johnson, set 75g/km as the target for vehicles that are looking to be classed as low-emission, while sub-95g/km is now the lowest benefit-in-kind banding for conventionally powered vehicles not equipped with the sort of plug-in technology that's currently needed to get emissions down below 75g/km. The Budget also confirmed the previously announced importance of the 130g/km boundary for those fleets that buy outright.

This is the fifth time BusinessCar has taken the three most important CO2 emissions points and researched the number and variety of cars on offer to business car operators at each level.

A number of car launches over the past 18 months have meant there is a small but rapidly developing sub-75g/km market that will, for the foreseeable future, be populated purely by plug-in hybrid, range-extender or full electric models. Currently, the lowest-emitting car that doesn't require plugging into the electrical supply is the 79g/km Toyota Yaris Hybrid, while Renault's Clio at 83g/km is as low as the conventional production diesel car can presently get.