Leeds motorists in the dark over latest diesel tax

Leeds drivers are ignorant of new taxes being imposed on diesel vehicles from next month.

Sunday, 25th March 2018, 8:00 am
NEW TAXES: A survey has found 90 per cent of people are unaware of new taxes relating to the latest diesel vehicles. PIC: PA

New diesel vehicles will be subject up to £500 more in tax if they fail to meet the latest pollution standards. The law only applies to newly registered diesel cars on or after April 1.

A survey by savings site Confused.com showed nine in 10 motorists in our region do not know about the new law.

Its motoring editor Amanda Stretton said: “Drivers in Yorkshire and the Humber are clearly confused about the messaging around diesel vehicles. It’s no wonder motorists in the region are not up to speed with the latest laws. As we head towards 2040, when the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles will be banned, we expect drivers will see numerous incentives and penalties being introduced. Whether such measures will encourage take up of more environmentally friendly car-types remains to be seen.”

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The research suggests the confusion about diesel goes even further than the latest tax laws. Just more than half of drivers in the county say the messaging around diesel is unclear. And this lack of clarity seems to be clouding drivers’ choice of future car, as 57 per cent say they wouldn’t consider buying a diesel vehicle. The new taxes are also a key deterrent, with almost a third blaming them for their decision.

Confused.com has designed a quarterly fuel barometer to track the issue. It measures car registrations by fuel type, national driver opinion polls and Google Trends data to provide a detailed picture of the state of the nation when it comes to fuel. The barometer suggests the tipping point dates back to when the first year tax rate for diesel vehicles increased in April 2017. This sparked a sharp deceleration of UK-wide diesel sales, which has dropped 24 per cent year-on-year. And the new taxes have done little to persuade UK drivers to switch to electric or hybrid. These account for just 5 per cent of UK car registrations this year to date.


The cost of diesel itself has ramped up significantly over the past year.

It reached an 18-month high across the UK in January 2018, according to the Confused.com fuel price index. Drivers in Yorkshire & the Humber are paying 0.4p per litre on average more for diesel than this time last year, while petrol has dropped minus 0.3p per litre.

The average country-wide cost of diesel now 123.1p per litre, and 120.4p per litre for petrol. Motoring editor Amanda Stretton said: “Fuel is a complex issue, and one that matters to drivers as filling up at the pumps is an ever-present cost.”