The Autumn Statement was delivered by Philip Hammond – UK’s chancellor of the exchequer – today, setting in to motion changes that will affect the public. Investments that will make Britain’s roads better and investments to advance low-emission and electric vehicles on UK roads were great news, but we’ve broken down the main points that will affect drivers.
Insurance Premium Tax
IPT will rise from 10% to 12%. This comes after news that stricter rules surrounding whiplash claims might mean savings for car insurance customers, effectively neutralising any positives we might have gained from the reduction in false whiplash claims.
The increased tax means an approximate £855m earning for the Treasury by 2021. As RAC Director of Insurance, Mark Godfrey, put it: “After a recent double rise in IPT, this further increase is a slap in the face for motorists.”
Concerns are now rising over whether more drivers will break the law by driving without insurance. Insurance companies will likely urge the government to reconsider this change.
Frozen Fuel Duty
The chancellor chose to freeze fuel duty at 57.95p per litre of fuel sold. This will ensure that fuel remains affordable as we transition out of the EU. This is welcome news as other changes announced today could see Brits becoming 3% poorer. Cheap fuel will become a necessity for most people – especially those who rely on their cars for commuting purposes.
Simon Williams – an RAC spokesperson – said, “The chancellor’s decision to extend the freeze shows that he understands that motorists are the backbone of the British economy. It is vital that in such uncertain times, the government can give as much certainty to them as possible.”
Electric Vehicles and Charging Points
A huge amount of money is being invested in making electric vehicles more prominent on UK roads. Part of this push towards greener vehicles is an investment in a charging network that will hopefully reduce range anxiety for prospective buyers of EVs. The government also promised to give incentives to drivers who purchase electric vehicles and low-emission vehicles as they have done in the past.
Part of this announcement also had £100m invested in connected vehicle testing and infrastructure. This could speed up the development of autonomous vehicles to put the UK in line with other countries that are already using advanced technologies. This announcement goes hand-in-hand with the chancellor’s promise to invest in science and technology innovations.
This will be excellent news for companies like Tesla who have vowed to increase production in the UK amid concerns of carmakers leaving the UK due to implications of Brexit. Tesla has even announced that is considering building a Gigafactory in the UK in the future, perhaps having predicted that the government would make a move like this.