Everything seems to be in a state of flux at the moment with government policies changing on a daily basis to keep up with changing national and international circumstances. So having a look at Rishi Sunak's recent budget from the angle of motorcyclists may well be a hiding to nothing, as it may all change, but let's do it anyway!

The budget was something of the proverbial Curate's Egg for motorcyclists a mixed bag of suggestions. Let's have a look at the maybe controversial bits and then cheer ourselves up with the good bits.

Firstly HM Treasury want to assess the way VED (road) tax is charged for motorcycles on UK roads with a view to potentially changing it. They are proposing a more CO2 emissions based system which would charge more depending on your vehicle's emissions - more like the way it's done for cars. While we all know it is a good thing to reduce global emissions - this move would realistically mean a move towards motorcyclists getting new machines and scrapping older more polluting bikes. This could be good if you can afford a new one but it might have a big impact on the secondhand market and may not be so good for the owners of classic, vintage or even just older bikes.

Sizing Up

Currently Vehicle Excise Duty is charged on the motorcycle engine capacity:
Under 150cc - £20pa,
151-400cc - £43,
40-600cc - £66
and anything over 600cc is £91

The new proposed government changes document states that:  
“The government now has data on the carbon emissions of different motorcycle models. This provides scope to for charging VED on motorcycles the basis of their carbon emissions, which could encourage the purchase of the cleanest models.”

However this is not entirely straightforward as some motorcycles are so old that they don't have their emissions recorded as they were manufactured before it became a necessity to record them. In this case, it looks as though they will be put in bands based on engine size. This could mean that large-displacement older bikes might get very highly rated and have a lot to pay annually - so what do you think, does this need to happen anyway?

Nothing is set in stone yet - the government wants to canvass opinions on this so you can have your say on these questions:

  • Do you think motorcycles should be taxed based on carbon emissions?
  • What impact would this have on the behavious of those looking to purchase a new motorcycle?
If you’ve got responses to these queries - and don't lose the chance to have your say if you have any concerns, suggestions etc, - you've got 12 weeks, until the 3rd of June 2020 to send them to

Fuel's Paradise

There are some good things for motorcyclists in the budget – fuel duty is not going up again – it remains frozen as it has been for years so filling up won't cost you significantly more this year. Nice to know when riding your bike is one of the best options for getting out in these days of low social contact!

Holey Smoke!

And it gets better - the budget also contained plans to invest in the roads - particularly fixing the potholes, to the tune of £2.5 billion! Well halleluiah! How many of those have you had to swerve around or just plain plunged into lately? They're everywhere and getting them fixed is very high on the wish list for all motorcyclists for whom they present a particularly dangerous nightmare!

So between now and 2025, 27 billion no less, is being earmarked to improve transport links. Some of which will go to repairing and improving roads as the volume of traffic they have to deal with steadily increases year on year. All good news we think!

Another proposal is extending Plug-In grants until 2023 by making £533 million available to help people afford the change over to electric and low emission vehicles.

Maybe helpful if you decide that electric motorcycles are the way forward for you.  

Getting Better All The Time?

The Transport secretary Grant Schapps said this about the future of the transport system:
“If we are to invest £27.4bn over the next five years on our strategic road network, it is crucial that we use this funding to improve the lives of all.

All in all some positives there and a chance to let the government know what you think so make sure you let them know if anything is on your mind – we'd like to know what you think too.

Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 18 March 2020 in Company News



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