Government hints at help for motorists

MPs are calling for a delay on the 3p per litre rise in fuel duty which is planned to begin in January 2013 for three months. This comes among growing concerns by motorists about the increasing costs of fuel.

In a political debate yesterday, several Tory MPs who had been expected to join labour in protest against the fuel price rise changed tactic when it was hinted by the chancellor that extra help was on its way.

With the Government constantly in talks to reduce the general cost of living, it is expected that the fuel duty rise will be postponed and that more help might be provided to motorists.

Tim Naylor, editor of the BCA used Car Market Report, said: “If this postponement goes ahead, this will come as a huge relief to many motorists who are struggling with fuel prices.”

In a recent survey conducted by the BCA, 70 per cent of car owners admitted they were taking steps to cut their car running costs, with many motorists changing the way they drove to maximise fuel efficiency. Seventeen per cent of people drove more slowly and 16 per cent avoided braking heavily, to save on fuel costs.

Further research from the BMRB revealed that 53 per cent of motorists felt pushed into buying more fuel efficient vehicles due to the higher price of fuel as well as changing their driving habits, with 29 per cent of car owners now walking more often and 21 per cent cutting the number of journeys they made.

The planned increase in fuel duty would mean that almost 60p from every pound spent at the pump would go towards the Treasury. It was originally scheduled for August but was put back five months by the Chancellor following protests from motoring groups.

The consumer group Which? called yesterday for the rise to be postponed after an opinion poll suggested that 39 per cent would be forced to make cut backs on motoring costs.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: “Rising fuel prices are the No 1 consumer worry and people are already telling us they’re having to cut back and dip into savings just to get by. The forthcoming Autumn Statement must focus on measures that will help put money back in the pockets of consumers.”

The UK currently has the eighth highest petrol price in Europe, and the second highest diesel price.

 

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About Leana Kell

Leana Kell has written extensively for the motoring press for many years and is now Trusted Dealers' resident motoring journalist - covering the issues that matter to the every day motorist.

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