Emissions duty: ‘States need a four-year plan’

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This year, following a States debate in 2017, VED – a one-off tax on vehicles when they are registered in the Island, based on their carbon dioxide emissions or engine size – rose by five per cent.

The duty’s band thresholds were also lowered, which put many vehicles into a higher price category.

Both amendments were put forward by Grouville Constable John Le Maistre and were approved by the States after 30 minutes’ debate.

Hire car companies expressed concern over how the changes would affect their businesses – with the price of hiring some vehicles increasing by £12 a day.

Peter Deffains, managing director of Avis Rent-a-Car Jersey, brokered a deal with the States to enable all hire car firms in Jersey to pay 2018’s VED at the 2017 rates.

However, the deal is only due to last until the end of the year and the business owner is now appealing for future States Members to develop a four-year strategy.

Mr Deffains said that problems were caused when States Members passed the amendment lowering the VED thresholds, as he had already placed orders for a new fleet of cars.

‘Nobody in the States realised that they would also be voting to change the banding categories, which put a 425 per cent increase on around 80 of my larger, family vehicles.

‘It would mean putting an extra £12-a-day on top of what the customer was already paying. I could just not see how people would pay that.’

The director added that he might have had to close his company had he not been able to broker a deal. He also said he was now worried about next year and, due to the election, was not able to hold discussions with States Members.

‘I do not think we should not be paying anything – I just think that it needs to be affordable,’ he said.

‘What we need is to sit down with politicians and civil servants and come up with a three- or four-year strategy so we can plan for the future.’

Under current arrangements VED must be paid in full when a vehicle is registered in the Island.

As most hire car businesses only keep their vehicles in Jersey for short periods – often exporting them to the UK after around four months – companies receive a 50 per cent discount on VED.

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