The government has revealed plans to “help the great British white van driver go green”. In this month’s Spring Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced that the government would hold a consultation on reducing Vehicle Excise Duty rates for the “cleanest vans”.

From April 1, 2018 Vehicle Excise Duty on most vans will increase to £250 a year – it will be £140 for early Euro4 and Euro5 emission compliant light commercial vehicles.

It is anticipated that HM Treasury will publish the consultation shortly and, rather than the current flat rate Vehicle Excise Duty regime, could outline a system that mirrors that for cars with the more polluting vehicles subjected to a higher tax.

Matthew Walters, head of consultancy and customer data services at vehicle leasing and fleet management company LeasePlan UK, said: “This is welcome news. As a founding member of the EV100 initiative [a global business initiative designed to fast-track the uptake of electric vehicles and infrastructure], LeasePlan is committed to low emissions.

“We strongly believe that vans should be part of this conversation as much as cars.However, it should be noted that the government has already launched several consultations in this area – including one on electric vans – but is yet to announce the outcomes of them. If the Chancellor is to help us deliver on ‘what’s next’, then he needs to start confirming some of his policies.”