Budget 2018: how it affects car drivers

  • All the Budget announcements that affect motorists
  • No tax rises on petrol or diesel
  • Some diesel cars will cost more to tax

Every year the government sets out its spending plans in several Budget announcements. These affect everything from spending on road infrastructure, changes to company car tax and fuel duty, so they can have a huge impact on drivers.

The date for the 2019 Budget has not yet been scheduled. The following covers the information delivered in the 2018 Budget. 

Here we’ve rounded up all the news from the government’s Budget announcements and the effect they will have on you.

Previous Budget announcements include a complete overhaul to the VED road tax system, which came into force in 2017, investment in the road network and fuel duty freezes.

Prior to 2018’s autumn statement, reports of a £30bn infrastructure budget allocated for roads, and funded by VED, leaked – but drivers could be forgiven for wondering exactly how this is going to affect the tarmac beneath their tyres; road spending has generally increased in line with inflation since 2011, reaching £4.7bn last year.

Projects such as a fast link between Oxford and Cambridge may, therefore, get more attention than fixing the existing network – and existing infrastructure improvements such as upgrading the M6 as a smart motorway give some indication of the impact such projects have on transport and productivity.

Budget for pothole repairs

What has been confirmed is immediate support for local authorities, which are benefitting from a Budget intended to shake the spectre of austerity as Britain approaches Brexit; included in 2018’s announcements was a welcome £420m for potholes and bridge repairs in that financial year.

2018 Autumn Budget effect on motorists

Little in the latest budget will have a direct impact on motorists, however, following the trend set in previous budgets, fuel duty appears to be unchanged for the seventh consecutive year. 
This now established shift from periodically increasing fuel duty is very good news for motorists who have to pay more for fuel in light of the weaker pound following the EU referendum in 2015. 
Chancellor Philip Hammond did announce, however, that there will be a £690 million competition for local authorities across England to tackle urban congestion, with the ambition of helping local transport networks to move better. £490 million of this will be allocated by early autumn 2017.
This follows the announcement of £220 million to address pinch-points across the UK road network. There has als been speculation over the introduction of diesel scrappage schemes, following greater understanding of the impact of diesel pollution on health.

Little in the latest Budget should have a direct impact on motorists, however, following the trend set in previous Budgets, fuel duty is unchanged for the ninth consecutive year. 

This now established move from periodically increasing fuel duty is very good news for motorists who already have to pay more for fuel following the 2016 EU referendum, in light of the weaker pound.

Nothing for electric cars

Prior to the Budget, cuts to the plug-in car grant have already been announced; there were no replacement incentives for alternative fuel vehicles with zero or ultra-low emissions in the 2018 Autumn Budget.

Furthermore, £90m is being made available to trial new models of smart transport, including on-demand buses; subsidies for younger rail users will also reduce stress on the road network with a railcard for 26-30 year olds joining existing discounts.