Budget 2020: how it affects you

  • The Parkers guide to the 2020 Budget
  • What the changes means for your budget
  • Fuel duty, car tax remain unchanged

Budget 2020: how it affects you

New Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a number of changes in the Spring 2020 Budget that are said to improve driving conditions. The backdrop to this is like no other, with the UK economy moving into uncharted territories following its exit from the European Union in January, and the concerns surrounding the Coronavirus crisis.

What it does mean is that there haven't been any major changes affecting drivers. Although there aren't any changes to the current system of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) that has been in place since 2017, there are a number of incentives aimed at stimulating car sales, especially electric cars. Also, road building will benefit following the announcement of a £600 billion cash injection into infrastructure spending.

Read on for the key announcements made today by the new Conservative Government.

Road tax (VED)

The good news is that VED rates remain unchanged following the big overhaul back in 2017.

Incentives for electric cars

Electric vehicles won't pay any road tax at all, giving them a distinct advantage over petrol and diesel models. The Government is keen to support EVs and make Britain a hotbed of electric car tech. The Plug-in Car Grant has been extended to 2022-2023, meaning if you're planning for your next EV or PHEV, then you don't need to feel like you're going to rush or miss out on your grant.

However, the amount it's offering has been reduced to £3,000 from £3,500 and there's a cap so that cars costing more than £50,000 are no longer eligible.

Company car tax

Benefit in Kind rates have already been announced for 2020/2021, and nothing in the Budget has changed these.

Fuel duty

Fuel duty has been frozen in the Budget for the 10th year running. Although fuel prices are high in the UK, the amount the government takes in tax has remained constant since 2010, when the old 'fuel price accelerator' was scrapped. Currently, crude oil prices are dropping, which should actually mean a drop in petrol and diesel prices at the pumps.

Rishu Sunek confirms: 'I'm taking considerable steps in this Budget to incentivise cleaner forms of transport. And many working people still rely on their cars. So I’m pleased to announce today that, for another year, fuel duty will remain frozen.'

More new road building

Before the budget, Rishi Sunak had confirmed that there would be significant investment made in the roads. He said: 'by investing historic amounts in British innovation and world-class infrastructure, we will rebalance opportunities and lay the foundations for a decade of growth for everybody.'

That means more new roads, improvements to existing ones and there will be £2.5bn more to fill-in potholes. So, hopefully fewer of you will be claiming for pothole damage going forwards.

'Red' diesel tax relief scrapped

The chancellor says he will scrap a 'red' diesel scheme that allows some companies to pay just over 11p per litre for diesel, compared to around 58p. He has done this because 'the sectors using red diesel are some of the biggest contributors to our air quality problem.'

£500m for car charging hubs

Sunak has promised to spend £500m on charging hubs for electric cars. The reason? He wants drivers to never be more than 30 miles away from a rapid charging hub.

What this means for you

With the economy poised to take a downturn, the government is doing nothing to rock the boat, and that includes punishing motorists. As there are currently 32.5 million cars on the roads in the UK, any budgetary punishment for drivers will have consequences for a lot of people.

Clearly, the Government wants more people to take up an electric car from April, with the Benefit-in-Kind changes and further extension of the Plug-in Car Grant making it less costly than it need be to make the change.

Tesla Model 3 (2020) Supercharging