Motor trade reacts to budget

Mixed, but generally positive reaction to Chancellor's speech

Published:  21 March, 2013

Reactions to the budget across the motor industry have been mixed, with several big firms citing the freeze in fuel duty as the most significant event.

Stuart Kerr, CEO of Ford Retail said:  "The news that the fuel duty rise has been cancelled will be welcomed by families and commercial drivers alike but prices remain high, and we expect fuel efficiency to remain at the top of motorists' shopping lists."

Miranda Schunke, spokesperson for Green Flag, concurred: "Household budgets are already being stretched to the limit with the spiralling cost of living.  While the cost of motoring is a constant concern, it will be a relief to millions of motorists that there is some respite against the escalating financial burden of owning and running a car."

Ken Trinder, director at recruitment firm Job-Co-op Automotive, took a more pessimistic view:  "Apart from holding fuel duty over for another year, there is not much in the Budget that is of any interest to dealers and which will have any direct impact on their business. "

However, he was more positive about proposed tax breaks for employers: "The planned changes in corporate and employment taxation seem to be, in the first instance, positive for the many small to medium sized enterprises throughout the UK."

Electric vehicles will get a 'Benefit in Kind' tax relief of 5% rather than the 13% that had been previously announced.  A statement from Nissan, which produces the 'Leaf', a pure-EV model, says: "A 20% tax paying LEAF driver will pay £284 per annum or just £24 per month in company car tax and a 40% tax payer £569 per year or just £47 per month. This compares very favourably with competing five door diesel cars from other car makers."

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