Government proposes new tax measures to encourage green van driving

The Government has launched a new clean air consultation designed to encourage van drivers to go green, which could include additional taxes on ‘dirty’ vehicles.

The new tax measures, which aim to improve air quality in towns and cities, build on previous changes which significantly increased vehicle excise duty for vehicles which exceeded the clean emissions threshold.

But Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick said today that the changes have not done enough to persuade drivers to trade in their vehicles for greener ones.

The latest figures show that less than one in every 200 vans (0.4 per cent) bought in 2016/17 fell into the “ultra-low emission” category.

The vehicle excise duty on all vans is currently charged at a flat rate of £250, but the Government will look at incentivising drivers to switch to cleaner models.

The consultation will look at changing this duty to encourage drivers to choose cleaner models when purchasing a new van. It will explore creating a graduated first-year rate for vans based on environmental impact, as is already in place for cars. This would mean green van drivers would pay less tax in the first year as a result of the change.

Mr Jenrick, said: “We want to be the first government to leave the environment in a better state that we found it. One of the ways we can do this is by using the tax system to help drivers afford greener choices.

“We want to help ‘white van man’ go green. We appreciate that buying a new van is a major investment for small businessmen and women and want to help make environmentally friendly choices more affordable.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove added: “Businesses have a crucial role in this. That’s why today we are setting out plans to make low emission vans more affordable and asking businesses how we can help them break down the barriers to the use of lower emission machinery.”

To view the consultation in full, please click here.