Comments on the Autumn 2017 Budget

Philip Nothard, Head of External Relations at Cox Automotive, on the Chancellor's Budget, 22 November, 2017:

"Having assessed industry sentiment prior to the Budget, we know that 81% of dealers we surveyed were concerned about the direction the Chancellor would take, and three quarters (75%) felt that the Government would hit the diesel motorist again with further taxations. 

London - Autumn 2017 Budget

"Listening to today's announcement, it seems they needn't have worried, as fuel duty was frozen at 57.95p per litre for the seventh year running.
"While we agree that environmental concerns and clean air initiatives should be a top priority, a move to increase taxation on diesel fuel vehicles this year would have sent tremors through the industry in what has already proven to be a turbulent 12 months.
"Market demand for diesel has fallen over the last 12 months and we know from speaking to dealers that diesel vehicles are becoming slightly more difficult to shift. In addition, the growing negative discussion around diesel has not helped with consumer confusion and has resulted in growing public distrust and uncertainty.
"We feel the Chancellor has taken the correct route in holding off on any further taxations for diesel drivers, and this move should help those dealers who rely on high value diesel models.
"We firmly believe diesel will maintain its leading status for some time, however dealers shouldn't take today's freeze on duty for granted as the Chancellor confirmed plans to improve the UK's air quality problem via a new tax treatment for diesel vehicles next year.
"Dealers that are planning ahead and managing stock profiles correctly, including strengthening forecourts with an increase in electric and hybrid fuel vehicles, will be in a good place to ride through any announcements made in due course."