Diesel drivers face expensive charges

Updated: 

Diesel

Drivers of diesel cars are facing higher running costs thanks to new air-quality measures.

After five months of new 'real-world' testing, the government has found that some new diesel cars are emitting up to 20 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides.


Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom, said: "We have spent the last five months looking very carefully at the real-world as well as the laboratory tests of emissions to make sure we get the right consultation."

The study found that cars such as the brand-new Mercedes C-Class and E-Class were within the legal requirement of nitrogen oxides, and therefore won't incur a charge, while smaller, cheaper diesel cars like the Fiat 500X and Nissan Qashqai are over 12 times the legal limit on nitrogen oxides.

Because of their findings, a new air quality plan will be put into action. It will require local authorities in several cities to follow London's lead in a set charge per day for older diesel cars to enter certain city centres by 2020. Currently, there are plans to set the charge in the capital at £20 per day, meaning if you drive an older diesel in London every day, it could cost you up to £140 per week.

If these measures are put into effect however, they could affect thousands of motorists, including taxi drivers and emergency service vehicles, as well as the general public, especially those who cannot afford to buy a brand-new car.

There are currently talks of a scrappage scheme by the government but as of yet, this remains unconfirmed.

The Times reports that Mrs Leadsom speaking on this issue, said: "A number of people were encouraged to buy diesel cars by the last Labour government and we want to take their needs into account so that we don't end up penalising people for decisions they took in good faith."

Aidan Rennie-Jones