May 232008

ScrapChancellor Alistair Darling controversially backdated VED increases to 2001 in his March budget.  Shadow Transport Minister Justine Greening has obtained documents from the treasury showing that the overall vehicle emission reduction of the VED changes is expected to be just one tenth of one percent.

The ABD suggests that even this miniscule saving in emissions from the changes will come almost entirely from the purchasing decisions of new car buyers and that the backdating element is likely to increase overall CO2 output.  The backdating is clearly a tax raising scam dressed up in green foliage that will have the opposite effect to that claimed.  Even within the government’s unjustified framework where plant food gas is seen as evil this cannot make sense.  Surely even the few left who believe the man made global warming myth cannot think this is a good idea.

ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries explains:  “The new rates impact owners of less efficient vehicles built since 2001.  Owners of such cars face a choice: Either they sell their car at a drastically reduced price, sometimes scrap value for older, high mileage cars that nobody will want to pay £270 – £440 pa to tax, or they keep them and pay the higher taxes.  If they keep the car then there is no impact on emissions. However many drivers may choose to sell. Ultimately and inevitably this will lead to such cars being scrapped far sooner than under the old VED regime, often when they are still perfectly serviceable.  Now, clearly as inefficient cars get older they are very unlikely to be used by high mileage drivers who choose more efficient models. They tend to be in the hands of low mileage drivers.   Therefore inefficient old vehicles are rarely great emitters.  But encouraging their replacement with newer stock means CO2 is produced in production of the new vehicle.  Put simply, the replacement of the cars affected that generally do low mileages with new cars will produce more CO2 than it saves.”

ABD chairman Brian Gregory said:  “Alastair Darling must now quantify how the backdating of draconian VED increases on family cars to 2001 can possibly reduce emissions.  If he cannot justify these increases then the tax that is hammering poorer families and the elderly must be scrapped.  The government claim they are now listening.  Let’s see some evidence”

May 232008

Car InsuranceOne million motorists have driven uninsured in a year

Over one million drivers in the UK have driven without insurance over the past 12 months, according to new research.

Sainsbury’s Car Insurance has revealed that 1.15 million people have admitted to this crime, which the study has shown varies according to age and location.

While 8 per cent of self-confessed offenders were aged 17 to 24, this level dropped to 5 per cent in the 15 to 34 age group.

Only 2 per cent of drivers aged 35 to 44 drove without insurance, dropping to 1 per cent and under in higher age groups.

London the worst

Londoners were the worst offenders on a regional basis, with 6 per cent of its residents driving uninsured.

The South west and Wales came in next with 5 per cent.

Drivers in the West Midlands, East Midlands and Anglia and the South east were the best behaved within the past year, with just 1 per cent of drivers in each region offending.

Of those who admitted to driving uninsured, 19 per cent of them said they did it because they could not afford insurance.

The same percentage said they did not think it was necessary to have insurance, while 13 per cent said they forgot to purchase it.

May 232008

New and Used CarsA dramatic shift in buying trends in the UK’s new and used car markets is predicted in the latest survey from Motorpoint, the UK’s leading car supermarket group, with more than two thirds of car buyers saying they will be downsizing with their next purchase.

Industry watchers have been highlighting a surge in both new and used supermini and compact MPV sales over the last twelve months. But even the highest recorded small car sales figures have not broken the 30% market share barrier.

The reason given for the shift by respondents to the Motorpoint survey is to save on running costs. But that consideration takes in more than just the soaring price of fuel. Another benefit is slower depreciation, which will improve even further as demand increases. And owners of cars with lower carbon emissions will save money on road tax too.

Motorpoint managing director David Shelton said: “These figures show a potentially massive shift of over two thirds of the motoring population – about 20 million people – into smaller vehicles. Our stock buying capability is already sufficiently flexible to cope with the increased demand for smaller cars that we are seeing from our customers right now. It’s clear that the benefits of a smaller car are becoming more important as a whole range of economic and environmental considerations start to bite.

Of course, our pricing policy means that we are still passing on an average saving of around £5,000 per car compared with the recommended retail prices on franchised dealer forecourts. That sort of saving will go a long way to offsetting at least some of the mounting cost pressures on motorists.“