VRT overhaul needed with introduction of new CO2 test for vehicles – O’Rourke

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Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North, Frank O’Rourke has called on the government to overhaul the Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) system in light of the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

Deputy O’Rourke said it was important the system is overhauled as without reform some motorists will opt for older, less environmentally friendly vehicles.

He said, “Having discussed this matter with business owners, car dealers and motorists in North Kildare I can see it is having a serious impact on their motoring decisions.

“Following recent emission scandals, a new test was established to properly measure CO2 emissions in new cars. As a result, CO2 values are set to increase by 21% under new WLTP measurements. More worrying is the fact that lower emitting cars are expected to increase by some 41%, while the highest emitting cars will not increase materially at all – it makes no sense.

“Without reform of the Vehicle Registration Tax, Kildare motorists buying new cars will see very significant increases in their VRT bill. Understandably, this will put people off buying new, more efficient and cleaner cars because it will more economical to buy older, dirtier cars. Ireland already has one of the oldest car fleets in the EU not to mention the loss of business to car dealers.

“The incentive to buy lower CO2 emitting cars will certainly be diminished which goes against all climate action progress. At a time when we are trying to move towards electric vehicles it’s ludacris to think that this change could perversely end up incentivising people to buy older vehicles that are more damaging to the environment and public health.

“I believe the Minister should consider expanding the VRT bands to avoid very serious impacts on the consumer and the motor industry, given the fact that lower emitting cars are facing the biggest increases”, concluded Deputy O'Rourke.