It’s come as no surprise to MotorMartin that sooner or later the Government were going to re-evaluate and then change the current Road Tax brackets, especially as we’ve all been encouraged to buy more efficient and economical Petrol and diesel cars for some time now. And yet, is it quite right that after years of making sure that the car buying public purchase diesels due to the favourable rates of tax that the Government should now be warning us against them? Is it unreasonable to assume that the tax rates for Diesel engines will inevitably begin to rise in the hope that the exact opposite will now occur? 

With so much uncertainty and misinformation circulating regarding the new rates of car tax, Ford have informed MotorMartin that they  running their biggest customer care exercise of the decade to prepare for the changes in road tax due in under six weeks’ time.

Ford have explained to MotorMartin that from April 1, Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) will first be calculated from a car’s CO2 emissions. The majority of cars will move to a standard rate of £140 annually from the second licence. Cars with zero emissions will be exempt from new, while others priced over £40,000 will be charged an additional £310 a year, on top of the standard rate, for the following five years. Gulp.

As market leader with the most customers to guide through the transition, Ford have informed MotorMartin that they first began advising their car buyers last year on the changes. The customer liaison necessary, by Ford HQ and dealer staff, is at a level not seen since the government’s scrappage scheme in 2009.

Ford have shared that their most sought-after models such as Mustang, RS and Edge have longer leadtimes, meaning that those buyers were made aware first of the March 31 deadline to register cars against lower outgoing VED bands.

All become more expensive to tax from April – apart from coupé Ford Mustang V8s, which become almost £200 a year cheaper over six years. Right-hand drive 5.0-litre Fastbacks, costing well under the new system’s premium rate £40,000 threshold, become £995 more tax efficient in this period.

The zero VED rate currently applies to 93 per cent of new Ford Fiestas – Britain’s best-selling car – thanks to emissions under 131g CO2/km emissions. February and March’s introduction of the new 17-plate are set to prompt a surge in Fiesta sales ahead of the new annual VED levy of at least £140 on every model in the range.

From April 1 free road tax will apply to zero-emission vehicles, including the Ford Focus Battery Electric Vehicle. With a 140-mile range and 30-minute fast charging, the Focus BEV is part of Ford’s £3.5 billion investment in electric vehicles in the five years to 2020.

Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, commented to MotorMartin that: “After last month’s biggest January vehicle sales volume for Ford since 1990, these imminent VED changes are driving further sales peaks. I anticipate a bumper March especially as buyers move fast to beat the tax man.”

Well done then to Ford for making sure that their customers are fully aware of the new tax rules and how they might be affected now and in the future. 

Where will you go?

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