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The Autumn Statement: What Does it Mean for Drivers?


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The Autumn Statement: What Does it Mean for Drivers?

Philip Hammond detailed out his first Autumn statement as Chancellor this week.  At Sell Your Jamjar, we thought we would look into what it means for drivers, what you need to know and the reaction to it.

Fuel Duty Frozen

Fuel duty has been frozen at 57.95p per litre of fuel sold.  RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said of the news: “The Chancellor’s decision to extend the freeze shows that he understands that motorists are the backbone of the British economy. It is vital that in such uncertain times, the government can give as much certainty to them as possible.”

More Investment into Local Transport Networks

£1.1 billion will be allocated to local transport networks in England, with a further £220 million to address local traffic pinch points. This comes as part of a new £1.3bn package of road investment. Plans for major road scheme developments in the north are also being given the green light.

This news however has not been welcomed by everyone. “A bit more money for roads is welcome but won’t solve the problem,” said Julian Glover, former special advisor to the transport secretary and director of the 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize. “Road users pay a lot at the moment but don’t get the system they need in return. We need to rethink the way they are run and paid for to cut congestion, sort out potholes and protect the environment.”

Focus on the Future of Vehicles

Hammond pledged £390m to be invested into low-emission vehicles, creating funding for more electric vehicle (EV) chargers and ‘building our competitive advantage in low-emissions vehicles and the development of connected, autonomous vehicles’, while a ‘100 per cent of first year capital allowance on the installation of EV charging points’ was also announced.

Hammond also confirmed that the Government will increase its investment into science and technology innovation, something that should positively impact the UK’s automotive and engineering industries. The Government has already struck a deal with UK-based car manufacturers to limit potential damage caused by Brexit to the industry.

Rising Insurance Costs

Something that has come as a huge disappointment to many drivers that are already feeling the pinch of the economy is that Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise from 10 per cent to 12 per cent.

RAC director of insurance Mark Godfrey said: “After a recent double rise in insurance premium tax, this further increase is a slap in the face for motorists, who will surely see their premiums once again increase. It will mean three rises in in two years and a more than doubling of IPT, from 5 per cent to 12 per cent, making IPT the stealth tax of our time.

“Insurance premiums have already risen by over £100 compared with last year and 57 per cent of our motorists telling us that their premiums have increased over the past 12 months,” added Godfrey.

Whiplash Claims

More stringent checks will be put into place for whiplash claims before the claim is initially made, if these are successfully put into place then car insurance prices for British motorists could fall by as much as £40 per person.  However with the increase in IPT as explained above, it is probably not a saving that will be passed on to motorists.

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