Concerns over van VED reform
Plans to reform the van VED regime could hurt small businesses and should be postponed until there is a greater supply of affordable low emission LCVs on the market, according to concerns raised by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Responding to a consultation on reforming van VED the BVRLA welcomed the government’s aim of increasing low emission van take-up but highlighted the lack of options currently on the market.
The BVRLA also pointed out that those vehicles that are available are usually far more expensive than their Euro VI diesel equivalents. As vans are almost entirely an essential business tool this would penalise van users for carrying out their necessary everyday work. This would hit small businesses hardest as many operate on tight margins and cannot easily absorb such additional costs.
The BVRLA also raised concerns about another unfortunate side effect which could see operators of cleaner, new Euro VI diesel vans charged a higher tax rate than Euro V or Euro IV models. Older vehicles will not be included in the proposed reforms and instead would continue to be charged at the current, lower rate.
The BVRLA has suggested the government should instead incentivise manufacturers to produce a more affordable range of greener vans across all vehicle weight ranges.
Practical measures the government could instead implement include: increasing the value of plug-in van grants to deliver price parity with diesel vans and providing more R&D grants to encourage manufacturers with the development of new technologies and with bringing these products to the market.