Diesel cars getting an increasingly bad rep in the EU

A staggering 10 million motorists that were swayed into buying diesel vehicles have been giving a fair warning about the rise in diesel costs as the EU puts pressure on Britain to reduce levels of air pollution. Mayor of London – Boris Johnson announced plans to charge an additional £10 for diesel powered vehicles driven in the capital, a measure that could makes its way to 18 more cities in the UK. Motorists have enjoyed great tax breaks for more than a decade owing to the fact that these vehicles are more fuel efficient and produce lower carbon dioxide emissions.

But Britain is now being pressurized by the EU for going exceeding its air pollution limits because diesel vehicle emissions are contributing to several premature deaths per year. Senior executives have been trying to get the government to increase the road taxes on diesel cars to around the same as petrol powered vehicles, but ministers have dismissed such a move in parliament. Motoring groups have indicated that such a move would considerably affect drivers who are already struggling to pay for diesel fuel and reduce the resale value of diesel powered vehicles.

It goes without saying that there will be some cities motivated by EU’s legislation and a result of that will look into defining new rules with regards to diesel vehicles. But Mr. Johnson does state that it is highly unlikely that there will be extra penalties levied for diesel vehicles. Gordon Brown – Chancellor in 2001 eliminated vehicle excise duty so that vehicles that emitted more carbon dioxide would have to pay higher excise duty. The new regime introduced by Labour was despite warnings from officials that diesel vehicles emit twice as much nitrogen dioxide and 10 times the amount of fine particles.

In the last 10 years, the number of diesel powered vehicles on Britain’s roads has increased significantly from 1.6 million to a staggering 11 million, and makes up for a third of vehicles on UK roads. Diesel vehicles are claimed to emit high levels of nitrogen dioxide, which results in respiratory related illnesses and has been linked with approximately 7000 deaths annually. Chairman of the Department of Health’s committee on air pollution Frank Kelly stated that the public were still not informed about the truth of diesel cars. This will have a knock on effect for company car drivers, whose vehicle of choice is a diesel car. You may find a lot of disgruntled ex company car insurance drivers.

He further states that he sympathized with the public that were kept in the dark about this issue. Adding to this, he stated that even when you go to buy a new vehicle today, you are provided a wealth of information on its CO2 emissions, but nothing with respect to the pollutants it discharges. Official figures indicate that roughly 18 or so cities in the capital will not meet EU clean air targets by the end of the decade for nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Birmingham, Leicester and Bristol are all looking into introducing levies for diesel vehicles in an effort to reduce emissions. And simultaneously Labour is looking into building a national network of low emission areas in cities that would limit or restrict access to diesel vehicles.