Warning on unexpected car tax rise

Government changes to a proposed hike in car tax will not prevent some motorists from being hit with a "tax bill they didn't anticipate", the Tories have said.

Shadow exchequer secretary David Gauke said during a Commons discussion on the Budget-enacting Finance Bill that the "retrospective" changes to vehicle excise duty (VED) would hit motorists who had bought cars in good faith.

Previously announced changes to VED bands that would have seen the most polluting cars taxed more heavily had to be scaled down following widespread opposition.

Mr Gauke said that original plans would have hit 1.2 million drivers with rises of over £200, with many other motorists also paying more.

However, Exchequer secretary Angela Eagle said that the new measures would result in increases of no more than £5 per car next year and £30 per car in 2011.

Mr Gauke conceded the point, but added: "If someone has bought a car that was made after 2001 or registered after 2001 and then subsequently finds that they will be paying more vehicle excise duty in future years, they are as it were committed to that car, stuck with that car in a way, and are faced with a tax bill that they didn't anticipate."

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