AM Online

Parker's Forecourt Focus


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I wonder if it was part of the Government’s plan to make the cars owned by thousands of families worthless through changes in Vehicle Excise Duty.

Probably not, but it’s likely to be the case for many owners of older cars.

Cars which would have seemed like cost-conscious purchases a year or two ago will have their values wiped out altogether by the new road tax bands coming into force from next year.

There are many vehicles that illustrate the point well, but perhaps the starkest example is something like the Daewoo Tacuma automatic.

Plenty of these versions would have been registered in 2001 on a Y-plate – after March 1 – perhaps spent three years as a Motability vehicle and then arrived on the used market in 2004.

Its most recent owner could have a young family and was tempted by the Tacuma’s low price and practical features.

When buying the car he or she would have had no idea of the forthcoming changes.

They are now running the car because it was the cheapest way into a compact people carrier with twin airbags, ABS and air conditioning.

We currently put the value of a 2001/Y Daewoo Tacuma 2.0 CDX auto at £1,305 as a trade-in at 70,000 miles.

The road tax rate for 12 months on this car is £210. Next year it will increase to £300, and in 2010 it will be £455.

If the car is worth just £1,300 now, in two years’ time with perhaps an extra 20,000 miles on the clock it will be scrap.

No one will want a car that will cost them more to tax than it’s worth.

There will be dozens of models facing the same fate over the next couple of years and given the lack of information provided by the Government, the families that use the cars are probably still unaware of the bad news ahead.

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