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Happy drivers
driven to distraction

Got a car? You were left alone in this Budget, for a change

There will be no extra motoring or fuel taxes after years of hikes.

THE MOTOR INDUSTRY has celebrated this year’s Budget as a full stop on the austerity era and one which finally left car owners free from any tax hikes.

Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) director-general Alan Nolan said today’s financial roadmap sent a strong message the economy was moving forward.

He said this year the industry had enjoyed the highest registrations since the recession started.

“In this context we particularly welcome the statement that none of the motoring taxes have been increased,” he said.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan today announced tax hikes on cigarettes, tobacco and and gambling to pay for the government’s extra €585 million in spending, but he singled out car-related expenses as being off the hook this year.

“I am not raising taxes on petrol or diesel; I am not raising motor tax; I am not raising the Vehicle Registration Tax,” he said.

Confident for the year ahead

Nolan said the car industry could now be “confident about the year ahead” and it hoped customers’ increased spending power would help create jobs and raise tax revenue through better sales.

The latest car-sales figures from the Central Statistics Office showed nearly 90,000 new cars were sold in the period to September this year, up 30% on the same time in 2013.

It followed a series of price hikes as motorists with older cars were hit with tax rises of up to 25% last year, while owners of newer, lower-emission vehicles had smaller registration fee increases.

Taxes on fuel went up four times in Budgets during the recession years and the government now keeps up to 60% of the retail price of petrol thanks to its various tariffs.

READ: Women drivers see the biggest increase in motoring costs >

READ: Expect (some) good news at the fuel pumps later this year >

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