Recently appointed Chancellor, Rishi Sunak delivered his new budget yesterday, so we thought we’d explore just what this means for motoring in the UK. Marking a new era, the Chancellor has opened his chequebook and made generous provisions for sectors which have in past years been less well-funded. But how exactly will that affect motorists?
The Chancellor has announced a new £500 million funding pot to be spent over the next five years, to grow the UK’s rapid charging network. The fund will primarily cover the cost of businesses installing fast charging points on their premises. With the intention that drivers will never be more than 30 miles from a rapid charging point within the next five years.
The Chancellor has also indicated his intention to extend the current EV grant. The current EV grant was due to run out at the end of this year, but the Chancellor has now extended this until 2023, a move worth £403 million.
However, the extension of the grant doesn’t come without compromise. The top grant amount will be cut from £3,500 to £3,000 on all orders placed from 12th March and will no longer be available on cars costing more than £50,000.
Although on a more positive note, the Budget did confirm that EVs will be exempt from the ‘Expensive Car Supplement’ which can add up to £1,600 in tax over five years on cars which cost more than £40,000.
A perennial problem for motorists is the state of British roads and the seemingly growing number of roads plagued by potholes. So while the Chancellors planned £500 million per year over five years has been welcomed, it falls short of the estimated £9.8 million needed to completely fix pothole problems.
One of the Chancellors more surprising decisions was his commitment to freeze fuel duty for another year. This means fuel duty will not have risen in 10 years.
For many motorists who rely on conventionally fuelled vehicles to get out and about this will come as great news. However, it is likely to be an unpopular move with environmentalists who believe more should be done to fund alternatively fuelled vehicles.
The good news is that the electric charging network in the UK will continue to grow, which is a huge plus for anyone looking to invest in an EV. On top of that, potential EV owners will also continue to benefit from government grants for a further three years which will help to make EVs a more affordable option. While those looking to invest in a more luxury EV will be exempt from the Expensive car supplement.
There’s good news for those unable to make the switch to an EV too, as the freeze in fuel duty will mean that they don’t get penalised at the pump.
However, when it comes to Britain’s roads, we can’t expect miracles. Realistically the amount allocated to improving the UK’s pothole problem is unlikely to do much more than keep on top of the current state of the roads.
Let us know what you think of the new budget in the comments below.
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