Alistair Darling’s recent budget went a fair way to encouraging motorists to adopt greener options.

Recent research by the AA has indicated that there has already been a trend in recent years of motorists looking at environmental friendly issues and factors.

Two years ago when asked if they intended to purchase a ‘green’ car this year, a mere 6% of respondents said that they were.

However, the new research reveals that this figure has soared to 23%, almost a fourfold increase.

Occurring over the same time period, the number of those surveyed interested in sportier cars has declined.

Further, those after small family cars has increased.

Two years ago so-called gas guzzlers were the target of 5% of respondents, though this figure has slumped to just 2% this year.

With the lull in the economy responsible for a more cautious outlook and in some cases the tightening of household budgets, more motorists will be turning to smaller and more economic vehicles. Lower car insurance, road tax and less outlay on petrol are all savings that good economic sense.

Along with making financial savings motorists will know that are also doing their bit to cut carbon omissions. As transport accounts for almost one third of carbon emissions and cars responsible for 22 per cent, the average car on the road today emits 168g/km. A typical driver can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent by choosing the most efficient vehicle.

One of ‘green tax’ initiatives in the budget for motorists will be the Vehicle Excise Duty. From April 2009 the VED will be restructured to reward drivers of the cleanest cars, with a higher first-year rate from 2010 to encourage people to buy greener cars. The most polluting vehicles will face a £950 "showroom" tax that will come into effect from 2010. The showroom tax hit people buying new cars that are the most polluting.

Although as the AA research has suggested that there is a trend towards less polluting car models there are still many Brits who stand fast in their choice to drive their 4x4s. Arguments for driving 4x4s seem to revolve around feeling safer, room for kids, long distances to just purely aesthetics.

Mr Darling’s budget also introduced initiates that will benefit manufacturers and buyers of greener cars.

From April 2010, no car tax in the first year for cars that emit less than 130g/km of CO2. A so-called “Showroom Tax” means that the most polluting vehicles such as those in Band G will pay £1000 road tax in their first year, before dropping to the current level of £400. From April 2009, Vehicle Excise Duty is to be reformed to encourage manufacturers to produce more environmentally friendly vehicle.

New funding will be set aside to develop technology for national road pricing in a bid to ease congestion. The 2p rise in fuel duty will be postponed from April to October.

The short-lived reprieve follows record highs in crude oil prices.

New capital gains tax will come in next month. Tax incentives may be introduced to encourage companies to adopt greener fleets.

Different coloured tax discs on cars could be introduced to allow higher parking charges for the most polluting vehicles.

The current disallowance for leased cars costing over £12,000 will be replaced by a disallowance based on CO2 emissions. From April 2009, cars with CO2 emissions in excess of 160g/km will attract a 15% net disallowance relating to finance payments. For cars with emissions of 160g/km or below there will be no disallowance. Writing down allowances (WDAs) will be based on emissions from April 2009.

Cars with CO2 emissions above 160 g/km will attract 10% WDA, whilst cars with emissions of 160g/km and below will attract 20% WDA. The duty differentials given to biofuels will be abolished in 2010.

The 100% first year allowance for the cleanest vehicles is being extended to March 2013. The qualifying CO2 emissions threshold will be reduced to 110g/km.

Author's Bio: 

Sav is an author of several articles pertaining to Mortgages, Insurance, Loans, Debts, Credits, Van Insurance, Life Insurance, Health Insurance, Bike Insurance, Car Insurance and other Business and Finance articles.