What Does The Budget Really Mean For Drivers?

Thu 28th Oct 2021

Was Rishi Sunak’s Autumn Budget a good one for motorists? The Chancellor introduced a range of measures focused on fuel duty to road improvements, but how will they really impact our daily drive?

The most welcome news was that fuel duty will remain frozen at 57.95p per litre, which came just days after the average price of a litre of petrol rose to 142.94p, a new record. Mr Sunak promised that he would not add to the squeeze on families, however it is a huge saving in general, almost £8 billion over the next five years. On a more personal level, since fuel duty was frozen, the average driver has saved a total of £1,900.

Speaking about the freeze on fuel duty, Simon Williams from the RAC said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s confirmation that duty will continue to remain frozen at 57.95p a litre. With pump prices at record highs, now would have been the worst possible time to change tack and hike up costs still further at the forecourt. If duty had gone up, RAC data suggests the average price of a litre of petrol could have reached 147p, taking the cost of a tank to over £80, and diesel an eye-watering 150p.

“But we’re disappointed he did not provide some respite for drivers at the pumps. As VAT is charged on the final cost at the pumps, a temporary cut in VAT to motor fuels would have benefitted drivers immediately at a time when filling up the car is hurting households’ budgets more than ever before as well as the wider economy as people will have less money to spend.”

The other positive news was a huge £24 billion investment in the roads infrastructure, with almost £8 billion set aside for local roads, and while that may go some way to repairing some of the potholes, the RAC’s head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, expected more: “This is likely to be a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed. The condition and maintenance of the local road network is drivers’ number-one concern, and potholes not only result in costly repairs but can also be a serious road safety hazard,” Lyes said.