According to new research by Clean Green Cars, sales of high-end cars emitting over 275 g/km CO2 have risen because the current road tax system offers consumers no incentive to downsize. The recent cost increase for the highest Band G road tax (applicable to cars above 225g/km CO2) has led to buyers trading down from models just over the threshold - but the threshold is in the wrong place, argues the website. Virtually all cars currently on sale (99.8%) emit somewhere between 100 g/km and 450 g/km CO2 - yet the top band is set at just 225 g/km. Therefore someone wanting a large off-roader is going to pay the same tax on a Land Rover Discovery TDV6 (244 g/km) as a Range Rover Supercharged (376 g/km).
More than that, at the moment the owner of a Renault Espace 2.0T litre petrol automatic (227g/km) pays the same road tax as a Ferrari F430 driver (420g/km).
Jay Nagley of Clean Green Cars suggests a solution: "What we need is a new Band H, set at around 275 g/km. That would give luxury car buyers an incentive to think about CO2 outputs - at present, virtually every car on their shopping list is in Band G, so why would they consider CO2 figures when buying a car?"