This week saw George Osborne make what could be his final Budget announcement as chancellor, with May's election looming over the coalition government. One of the headline outcomes was that fuel duty rises, which had been expected, will be scrapped, which is fantastic news for British drivers.
But what else happened in the Budget announcement that affects British motorists? We take a look at some of the most important news from the budget.
Road tax: From April 1st, drivers will be paying more for their road tax, with the announcement saying that rises will be in line with inflation levels.
Fuel duty: The chancellor announced that once again he was scrapping the proposed fuel duty rise, which was due in September of this year. He said that the five-year freeze on prices was the longest in two decades, with the cost of a litre of petrol set to stay low for drivers thanks to the scrapping of the planned 0.54 pence per litre increase. According to Mr Osborne, this should save drivers £10 every time they head to the pumps, and around £675 per year by 2016.
Weak oil prices: As well as ensuring that fuel duty stays lower to keep the price of fuel down, the government said it will be keeping an eye on petrol prices to make sure that the weak oil prices seen at the moment are passed on to drivers. Since the last Budget, it said, a tank of petrol is £11 cheaper, and it wants to ensure drivers are being treated fairly by the industry.
Investment in roads: In what is probably the biggest news for UK drivers, the government announced that it plans to spend more on upgrading and fixing roads, giving people better conditions and reducing the chance of damage to vehicles. It said 16 schemes now underway will see it spending £2.3 billion. Roads getting the upgrades will include A1, M62, M1, A556 and Mersey Gateway Bridge. Overall, the government has earmarked £29 billion for spending in transport in the year ahead.
Cheaper rural petrol: Another big move from the government, Mr Osborne announced that the government recognises that motorists in some rural areas face particularly high pump prices compared to the rest of the country, and will now be looking to have the rural fuel rebate scheme rolled out to 17 areas of the UK, giving drivers there a 5p per litre discount.
Classic car tax: This one may have previously announced, but the chancellor confirmed that the deadline for a classic car exemption from car VED tax has been rolled forward to all vehicles registered before 1976, which is fantastic news for enthusiasts of the increasingly popular hobby.
Company car tax: Moving forward, the government is clearly once again trying to put its focus on moving companies towards an increase in the uptake of low emission vehicles. The Budget announces that in 2019/2020, the rates for ultra low emissions vehicles will rise slower than planned, while other cars' will increase by three percentage points.
Severn road crossing: Perhaps one of the most controversial road tolls in Britain, the "Welsh tax" on the M4 is set to be lowered from 2018, according to the Budget Speculation is rife that plans are in place to completely abolish the charge in the long run as well, which makes for fantastic news for drivers.
Car manufacturing and autonomous cars: Mr Osborne highlighted the fantastic output increase in the manufacturing of vehicles in the north in particular. He said that Britain's output has grown four and a half times faster than in the decade before the economic crisis, presenting a case for real national recovery. The government also announced a new £100 million investment in autonomous car projects designed to make Britain a centre of excellence for self-driving vehicles.
HGV: The government said that foreign hauliers are currently dominating the HGV market, so it made a commitment to tackle a perceived skills shortage in the UK sector, with a clear plan to be set out to try to address this.
And finally, looking towards the future, it will be the government's priority moving forward to put the focus on the environment and look at how they can make electric cars even better. The launch of a £10 million ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) battery prize will seek to find a new commercially viable battery pack.This is on top of the £29 billion commitment to spending on transport in 2015/2016.
Posted by Danielle Barge