How Will the Autumn Budget Affect Motorists?

By: Lisa Harper

We’ve taken a quick look at what the Chancellor’s autumn budget proposals will mean for motorists. 

Positives

For the ninth consecutive year, fuel duty will be frozen which will no doubt be a relief to many motorists who are already feeling the pinch of the rising cost of fuel. Philip Hammond has said this will come at a significant cost to the budget, however, it was important for motorists not to feel the burden of increased fuel prices. 

The Chancellor has also set out plans to inject £30 billion of funds to upgrade and maintain the roads. In addition, a further £420 million has been allocated to carry out pothole and other road repairs. This is on top of the annual £1 billion highways maintenance budget and the recent £300 million pothole repair fund.

This additional investment fund will be part-funded by the revenue generated from vehicle excise duty for the first time in history. The fund is set to run from 2020-2025 and represents a 40% increase to the budget of Highways England. 

It has been claimed by the government that this investment will help to cut road congestion, reduce journey times and improve road safety. 

Meanwhile, £150 million has also been allocated to help councils improve local road junctions.

Negatives

The real negative came into force prior to the budget and saw the reduction in grants towards low-emission vehicles. The maximum grant has now been capped at £3,500 for cars with emissions less than 50g/km and that can travel at least 70-miles without any emissions at all. 

While the announcement did initially cause a surge in the sale of low-emission vehicles as people rushed to get the maximum benefit available, it is thought that the reduction in grants will eventually slow the sale of more efficient, lower-emissions vehicles. 

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