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What did motorists win in the Autumn budget?

Was the Autumn Budget a Win for Drivers?

We all hope to win when the budget is announced, and it does seem like drivers have some good news at last. A freeze on fuel duty has been introduced, which means for 2022/23, it remains at 57.95p per litre. The Chancellor has confirmed that this will give motorists good savings when compared to fuel duty prices pre-2010. Car drivers will, on average, save £15 per tank, those with vans will save £30 and if you drive an HGV, a whooping £130.

The AA president, Edmund King is a little sceptical that the freeze will help in the long term. While he acknowledged that there would be an element of temporary relief, he is concerned about the overall pricing of petrol. He fears that studies show lower-income households have to prioritise keeping their vehicle on the road for work purposes and, therefore, with high fuel prices, end up cutting back on essentials like heating and food to survive.

It seems that the RAC also agrees that while this is a positive step, more could have been done. Simon Williams, their fuel spokesman, said that the freeze prevented possible catastrophic increases that potentially would have seen a tank of fuel rise to more than £80. Still, again the freeze was not enough to address the broader issue of fuel prices.

Williams spoke of disappointment regarding the fact the government have done nothing to control VAT at the point of sale. The RAC would have liked to see a temporary VAT cut as this would have a faster and more immediate relief for drivers when they refuelled. The roadside service also has concerns that people are cutting other vital spending to buy fuel.

Electric Vehicle Benefits

The second budget benefit for motorists comes from a further £620m funding allocated to expand further the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The money is earmarked to help the government meet its net-zero target and includes a specific focus on electric charging for residential drivers in the form of local on-street points and more grants for plug-in vehicles.

There is also a win for electric vehicles in the Government Automotive Transformation Fund, which has seen an injection of £350m to support supply chains and the electrification of cars on UK roads.

Road Improvements

Finally, although it won’t be a win for every driver, £24bn has also been allocated to be used until 2025 to make upgrades to roads such as the A66 Trans-Pennine and create more strategic road planning.

Sources: RAC, Smart Transport, BBC, The Times, Logistics UK, RHA (Road Haulage Association).