Ultra low emission grant scheme changes

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The Government is changing the qualifying criteria for cars to be eligible for purchasing support under its ultra low emission vehicle plug-in grant scheme.

The Department says the criteria is changing to take account of rapidly developing technology, and the growing range of ultra low emission vehicles on the market - 25 cars with a further 40 models expected in the next three years.

From April 1, eligible car models must meet criteria in one of the following categories depending on emission levels and zero-emission-capable mileage:

  • Category 1: CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range of at least 70 miles
  • Category 2: CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range between 10 and 69 miles
  • Category 3: CO2 emissions of 50-75g/km and a zero emission range of at least 20 miles.

However, from when the new criteria applies, cars will qualify for a 35% grant off the basic price of the car - up from the current 25%, capped at £5,000. The cap will remain at £5,000 for all cars, regardless of which category they are in, until 50,000 grants are issued or 2017, whichever is first.

In May, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles will commence a review of plug-in car grant levels. Following the review, new levels of grant will be available per category. Separately an announcement will be made about the future of the plug-in van grant scheme, but it is not anticipated that the current maximum grant of £8,000 will deteriorate in the foreseeable future.

New drug drive legislation comes into force on Monday (2/3)

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The new drug driving law comes into play on the 2nd March in England and Wales.

It includes prescription drugs however as long as you are following the advice of a healthcare professional and your driving isn't impaired you should be fine

The new law sets limits at very low levels for eight drugs commonly associated with illegal use such as cannabis and cocaine and eight prescription drugs that are included within the new law. They are: Cloanzepam, diazepam, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, temazepam, methadone andmorphine.

There will be a medical defence if a driver has been taking medication as directed and is found to be over the limit, but not impaired. The advice for drivers who are taking prescribed medication at high doses is to carry evidence with them, such as prescriptions slips, when driving in order to minimise any inconvenience should they be asked to take a test by the police.

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Road Casualties Rise

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The government has announced a rise in road casualties, with 24,360 people killed or seriously injured in the year ending September 2014, a 4% increase on the previous year. There was a 1% rise in deaths over the same period, which saw a 2% growth in traffic.
 
In total there were 192,910 reported road casualties of all severities, which was 5% higher than the 184,087 reported in the year ending September 2013.
 
The BVRLA continues to call for the re-introduction of annual road safety targets, which were abolished in 2010. It has also called for the government to introduce tax incentives for fleets and company car drivers who opt to include extra safety equipment on their cars or vans.
 
More details can be found here.