The Autumn Statement: how will it affect motorists?

The Autumn Statement: how will it affect motorists?
Philip Hammond has delivered his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor – but how will it affect motorists?

There were a number of interesting developments so we have outlined below the important matters that relate to motorists.

Better roads

A total of £1.3bn has been promised to spend on improving Britain's roads.

The funds will include £1.1bn towards schemes to help in reducing congestion and upgrading local roads, while £220m will tackle tackling "pinch points" on England's motorways and major A roads.

A new £27m expressway will also be built between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge, and there are plans for major road scheme developments in the north of England.

Fuel savings

Fuel duty has been frozen for the seventh successive year, at a cost of £850 million - saving the average car driver £130 and van driver £350 a year.

The news has been welcomed by the RAC. Fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The Chancellor’s commitment to freeze fuel duty will be greeted with relief by motorists and businesses at a time when we know drivers are concerned that fuel prices will rise significantly over the next six months.”

IN OTHER NEWS: Insurers call for more driverless crash data to find who is to blame

Investment in Electric Vehicles

The Chancellor said £390 million will be invested into electric vehicles to “build on our competitive advantage in low emission vehicles and the development of connected autonomous vehicles.”

He added that there will be 100% first-year capital allowance for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Although tax savings on salary sacrifice and benefits in kind are to be stopped, ultra-low emission cars will be exempt from this.

Increase in insurance premium tax

There will be a rise from 10% to 12% in insurance premium tax from June next year, meaning insurers could well pass on to policyholders.

The move represents a doubling in the tax rate on home and motor insurance premiums within the past two years.

RAC director of insurance Mark Godfrey called this decision a “slap in the face” for motorists.

He said: “The Chancellor may now be at risk of encouraging some hard-pressed motorists to break the law by driving without car insurance, which will further increase premiums for law-abiding drivers. We would urge the Government in the name of road safety, to reconsider this rise.”

IN OTHER NEWS: Supermarkets cut fuel prices amid pressure from RAC

Reforms to compensation for whiplash

Plans to cap payouts for whiplash to crack down on fraudulent claims were also confirmed.

Mr Hammond said the government will bring in legislation next year to “end the compensation culture surrounding whiplash claims”.

He said the decision will save drivers an average of £40 on their annual premiums.

However, the RAC said while the reforms are welcome, the organisation is concerned that they will not achieve savings for motorists as only a small number of insurers have so far committed to passing the savings on.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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