The Budget is always an important time of the year for motorists, often strongly dividing opinion on the best areas public spending needs to address. Yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, outlined his plans for the UK ahead of Britain leaving the European Union in March next year. While there are always pros and cons, we're pleased to announce it looks like generally good news for motorists.
It sounds like we'll have to wait and see whether this budget stands up depending on the outcome of the UK's Brexit talks to leave the European Union. Mr Hammond informed Sky News that in the case of a 'no deal' Brexit “We would need to look at a different strategy and frankly we’d need to have a new Budget that set out a different strategy for the future.”
Budget 2018 Motoring: Spending On Britain's Roads
In terms of Britains roads, Mr Hammond revealed that he's setting aside £28.8 billion for the National Roads Fund for Highways England to improve and maintain motorways and other major roads between 2020 and 2025. Most of the cash will come from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – the first time road/car tax has been spent directly on the UK road network.
Budget 2018 Motoring: Potholes Filled In
An extra £420 million on top of the current fund of £300 million has been immediately made available to local councils to try and tackle the country's current pothole epidemic (be careful, hitting one could cost 2 month's salary). This might sound like loads of money but the Asphalt Industry Alliance said earlier in the year that a one-off spend of £8 billion would be needed to get our roads back up to scratch, with latest estimates increasing that figure to £9 billion.
Budget 2018 Motoring: Future Mobility Zones
Not only that, funding of £90 million was also promised for ‘future mobility zones’ in three cities, where schemes such as self-driving vehicles can be tested. The concept is also said to help in reducing congestion, improving the safety of our roads and employing more people.
The West Midlands is the first region to receive such a grant and a second area will be chosen soon.
Budget 2018 Motoring: Fuel Duty Frozen For The Ninth Year
Fuel duty has been frozen for the ninth consecutive year, remaining at 57.95p. This should bring the total savings for the average car driver to £1,000 and £2,500 for van drivers. Our fuel duty is still one of the highest in the world towering over Australia's 21p and the USA's 10.4p per litre.
This announcement came as a surprise as it was revealed to the media by Philip Hammond that freezing fuel duty costs the Treasury £800 million a year, as public finances are calculated on the basis that fuel duty will rise.
Budget 2018 Motoring: Car Insurance Tax
The Chancellor has decided not to raise Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) with any raise in this passed directly onto customers. In the last two years, IPT has doubled from 6% to 12% so the freeze was welcome relief.
Budget 2018 Motoring: Electric Vehicles
Surprisingly there wasn't any mention of electric cars in this budget. The government's current 'Road to Zero' strategy aims to see only 'effectively zero emissions' vehicles on the road by 2040.
Buget 2018 Motoring Summary
The Budget's announcement are always good dinner conversation topics, drawing strong responses. What were your thoughts? What changes were welcome or unwelcome? Send your messages or questions to our social media channels.