City drivers with diesel cars are breathing a sigh of relief for the moment at least, with the announcement of the government’s planned diesel scrappage scheme omitted from the Spring Budget speech.
A recent survey of almost 300 diesel drivers by car buying website BestCarforMyBudget.com, revealed that 66 percent anticipated the scheme would not be successful due to financial issues, a lack of confidence in current models of electric cars and a lack of charging points within towns and cities.
It had previously been suggested that diesel car owners be offered £3,500 as an incentive to scrap their car and purchase an electric model. However, 61 percent of those who said they would consider swapping, felt that this figure was too low, with a more realistic range given as between £5000 and £9,999. 37 percent said they would only consider a swap if offered over £10,000 and 17 percent said they wouldn’t be tempted at all.
32 percent of respondents said that they would use public transport rather than electric car if facilities were improved and fares reduced. 27 percent said they would instead choose a petrol car whilst eight percent indicated they would stay away from city centres altogether.
It’s not all good news however, with chancellor Philip Hammond revealing that the government is considering introducing a new “tax treatment for diesel vehicles”.
Guy Morris, director at BestCarforMyBudget.com, says that it would be unrealistic to ask diesel motorists with newer models to fund the purchase of an electric car without a more significant contribution from the government, together with a major improvement in the availability of charging points.
“Even with the announced plans to review tax policies, diesel drivers are still keeping their fingers crossed that we’ve seen the end of the scrappage idea”, says Morris. “Air pollution, particularly in cities must of course be addressed but the government must also be sensitive to the thousands of people who bought diesel cars on their recommendation and who won’t automatically be inclined to now scrap those cars as a result of a sudden change in policy”.