The 2017 Autumn Budget: What could it mean for drivers?

The 2017 Autumn Budget: What could it mean for drivers?
The Chancellor will unveil his Autumn Budget on Wednesday, with drivers across the UK keeping an eager eye on announcements.

In the motoring world, Phillip Hammond’s key updates are expected to centre on the controversial issue of diesel vehicles, as the Government looks to raise funds to make good on promises made in its clean air strategy back in July.

But there should also be some news in there about the future of electric and driverless cars too…

A rise in diesel taxes?

Earlier this month the Government essentially confirmed there would be new taxes put in place for drivers of diesel vehicles, as the country continues to look for ways to phase out the most polluting cars on the roads and encourage the uptake of newer, greener models.

What remains to be seen is where Mr Hammond will administer these changes – will they come through fuel duty on diesel prices at the pumps, road tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) rates for diesel vehicles, or even both.

In the hours leading up to Wednesday’s Budget it is keenly speculated that diesel fuel duty will rise – perhaps by 1p a litre – taking it from the current 57.95p to 58.95p.

READ MORE: Diesel duty rise would be a bitter pill for drivers

And it has also been rumoured that a tax may be implemented for those buying new diesel cars in the near future – something the RAC’s chief engineer David said would be “terribly misjudged”, claiming it would do nothing to tackle air quality, in fact making it worse.

Only 39.4% of new car registrations in October were diesel – a year-on-year fall of almost 30%.

Additional parking charges?

The Government is under pressure to make strides in the improvement of air quality in major cities, and has already established the T-Charge, which slaps an extra £10 on top of the congestion charge for offending vehicles driving through Central London.

Now, the so-called D-Charge has emerged, an additional £2 surcharge for diesel drivers using 6,500 parking bays across Islington in the capital – with other London areas also trialling similar levies.

Will the Chancellor use Wednesday’s Budget to outline plans for citywide, or even more widespread parking measures to discourage the dirtiest vehicles heading to our city centres?

READ MORE: Tackling poor air quality – what’s your view?

Electric and driverless: the future of driving?

One expected piece of news which may be slightly more palatable for the general diving public is the inclusion of a £500 million investment into the electric car sector.

It is understood £400 million has been earmarked to drive improvements in infrastructure, with the installation of hundreds of more charging points, with the rest of the cash going towards enabling the sales of cleaner cars.

Autonomous vehicles too are set to receive a financial and legal boost, primarily with the Government lifting restrictions placed around widespread testing on UK roads – meaning pilots could begin next year.

The Government has previously indicated it wants driverless cars on our roads by 2021 – with the industry contributing £28 billion to the British economy inside the next 18 years, supporting around 27,000 jobs.

READ MORE: ‘Widespread scepticism’ over autonomous cars

The Budget will be delivered on Wednesday November 22 at around 12:30pm.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.