The Long Green Road Ahead: Your Next Commercial Vehicle

The Long Green Road Ahead: Your Next Commercial Vehicle

Jul 02, 2021

The future of diesel is a common topic of conversation, and even more so following the government’s announcement that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2030. The latest news will see traditional petrol and diesel cars removed from new car showrooms even earlier than originally planned.

The measures are part of a “green industrial revolution” that Boris Johnson believes will create new jobs in a low carbon economy, yet the update has left some buyers confused on which engine is the best buy for them right now.

Whether you’re searching for a car or van, here’s what you need to know:


What has the government changed and why?

The British government has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve local air quality. The ban only relates to the sale of new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICE), and not cars and vans that are already owned.

Petrol vehicles emit CO2, while diesel vehicles produce nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which have been linked to an increased risk of many health conditions including respiratory illnesses, lung cancer, and heart disease.

In the short term, drivers will see an increase in emissions taxes and a focus on upgrading the UK’s charging network.


Does this affect benefit in kind on company cars/commercial vehicles?

Historically, a company car or van has been taxed based on two things: the list price and the CO2 emissions. These two figures create a ‘taxable benefit in kind’ (BIK), on which employers and employees pay tax and national insurance contributions.

To encourage ever greener transport, HM Revenue & Customs has been increasing BIK rates on petrol and diesel vehicles and introducing lower BIK rates for fuel-efficient and electric vehicles.


Which should I buy, petrol or diesel power?

Despite the announcement, most buyers will be looking for an efficient vehicle, with high fuel economy and low emissions. To decide which is best for you in terms of petrol vs diesel, there are a number of different factors to consider, including fuel prices, and the value of the car/van.

Our advice is to look at the figures and how you use your vehicle – think about how far you drive, the way you drive, and check stock availability. Which one costs less overall depends mainly on how long you plan to keep the car or van.

Petrol cars are usually cheaper to buy and petrol continues to have a smaller price tag, so you’ll pay less at the pumps for a litre of unleaded. Petrol engines are also often quieter than their diesel counterparts and although it was previously difficult to find a van that wasn’t diesel-powered, this year we’re seeing a rise in commercial vehicles with petrol and electric engines as the government increases the quantity of emission restriction zones.

On the other hand, diesel offers better fuel economy and will provide a more dynamic driving experience. However, newer diesels have a higher tax bracket than petrol cars as part of the government crackdown on air pollution.


Should I consider hybrid?

The latest tax rules for company cars show that now may be the time to convert to a hybrid or electric vehicle, with significant benefits for both employer and employee. Changes to the taxation of company cars is one way in which the Government is trying to encourage us all to be greener.

With manufacturers under increasing pressure to deliver vehicles with better efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, alongside pure electric cars/vans, hybrids and plug-in hybrids are an important part of this shift towards a more environmentally-friendly future.

There are four kinds of hybrid vehicle on the road today and in the most common design, a conventional combustion engine (usually petrol-powered) is combined with an electric motor for power and to make the vehicle move.


Will this ban affect the second hand market?

Sales of second hand and used vehicles with diesel and petrol power will be allowed after the 2030 deadline passes.

However, they may become increasingly more expensive to run as legislators try to encourage people to consider the environmental impact of their vehicle and make the switch to electric drive vehicles voluntarily.

If you’re still confused or have any unanswered questions, please feel free to get in touch for more specific information, or simply email [email protected].



If you’re a contractor with Crest Plus searching for a new commercial vehicle, check out Kudos Vehicle Management, just one of our excellent rewards partners, offering discounts and deals on everything from your first service to tyre and alloy repair. 

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