RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “While the cost-per-mile benefits of ultra-low emission vehicles are plain to see, the Government is actually reducing or removing many of the financial incentives to encourage their take-up in the first place – which will be frustrating for anyone thinking of buying a new car.
“From 2017, changes to vehicle excise duty will mean that every motorist except those driving pure electric vehicles will pay a flat rate of annual tax, after year one. This will be the same for both the smallest, most efficient petrol and diesel cars, and those vehicles that are much less efficient and emit much higher levels of CO2. So from a VED perspective, there will soon be very little incentive to choose a brand new ultra-low emission vehicle. This could lead to a surge in sales of the most efficient cars in 2016, with motorists seeking to guarantee paying less VED before the new changes come in a year later.
“The Government’s universal plug-in grant scheme is also due to end this year, with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles planning a replacement ‘tiered’ system. But with only months to go before this is due to be introduced, full details of which vehicles will attract the greatest grants are still unconfirmed.”