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Budget 2018: News for fleet operators

Date: 29 October 2018   |   Author: Simon Harris

Main points of the Chancellor's Budget statement.

Fleets will have to wait until spring 2019 before discovering the impact of WLTP on future vehicle taxation, after Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announded a forthcoming review.

In his annual Budget statement to the House of Commons on Monday (29 October), the Chancellor confirmed the widely expected freeze on fuel duty, and forthcoming inflationary rises in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and the benefit charge on free fuel for employees.

But he said a review would take place on the impact of the new WLTP on CO2 emissions, and report next year.

Many fleets and company car drivers will have experienced an increase in company car tax when replacing a vehicle with a new WLTP certified model, with the transitional 'CO2MPAS' system used to mitigate the impact of the more arduous official fuel consumption test procedure.

The car industry has been broadly unhappy with the rises under the new system, and has been lobbying at a European level for action to be taken to lessen the impact of WLTP-derived emissions on vehicle taxation.

Benefit-in-kind tax rates for company cars are currently set to run until April 2020, but the Government is yet to clarify the level of taxes beyond that date.

The report will also assess the impact of WLTP on future VED rates.

In other transport news, the Chancellor announced £420 million for local highways authorities to repair pot-holes and other minor damage, which could help reduce the risk of damage to fleet vehicles on the road.