NCC lobbies against tax hike for motorhomes

The NCC has launched a full-scale lobbying campaign to persuade HM Treasury to add an amendment to the draft Finance Bill which would ensure that all new motorhomes fitted with the new, cleaner Euro 6/D2 engine continue to be taxed as private light goods vehicles and not as cars.

Under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which comes into effect on 1 September, if the motorhome carries this new compliant engine, the CO2 emission figure must be entered onto the final certificate of conformity. The vehicle is then automatically registered by DVLA and the rate of duty payable is aligned with the car duty CO2 figure.

New motorhomes currently (July 2019) pay a duty of £265 at first registration. For those with the new engine from September this will rise to a massive £2,135 in year one (a 705% increase). There will also be increases for the subsequent five years. John Lally, Director General at the NCC and Alicia Dunne, NCC Deputy Director General, reveal the possible effects of this rise, and what the trade association is doing to reverse the change until Government can re-think whether it is appropriate that the WLTP should apply to this unique class of vehicle.

“The NCC is concerned that the tax hike, coupled with other financial issues such as the protracted Brexit uncertainty, volatile exchange rates and a lack of consumer confidence, will have a significant impact on our sector,” John Lally explains. “While motorhome sales have been growing consistently despite these negatives, this fiscal penalty represents a huge threat to this successful British manufacturing sector.”

“To date, HM Treasury has failed to recognise the significance of this increase to the motorhome sector and its new customers. While it has acknowledged the concerns raised by us – and our colleagues in Europe – there have been no potential solutions,” he added.

“Motorhomes will be taxed as something they are clearly not – a car,” John continues. “This isn’t a green issue. The new emission regulations are important, and it is right that the taxation system encourages new car owners to choose cleaner, more efficient engines from the many ranges of engines and models available.

“But as motorhomes have commercial vehicle engines, new owners do not have this wide choice. Ironically, new motorhomes with the old engine will continue to be taxed at £265 whereas a new motorhome with the new cleaner engine will be subject to this excessive tax hike of £2,135.

“We recognise that motorhomes should be taxed appropriately, according to the new emission regulations. However, a new compliant motorhome that most likely only travels between 2,000- 4,000 miles per year, cannot be compared with a car and be penalised by being placed in the wrong tax band. Its new owners now face an extra tax bill of up to £4,460 over a six-year period.”

Enlisting support
The NCC has been informing its membership and all relevant stakeholders about the situation - to date this has included all motorhome manufacturers, converters, dealerships, hire companies and suppliers to the sector, and all their respective client base. They are being urged to lobby their local MP for support and to write to the Treasury asking them to reverse the decision.

“It is vital that members push their MP to ask Treasury for support and guidance on this issue as quickly as possible. The NCC is happy to help any business willing to do this. Email us as soon as possible,” Alicia Dunne, NCC Deputy Director General advises.

"We are fighting to secure an amendment to the Finance Bill to keep the impact of the change to a minimum. The window of opportunity is very, very tight so we must keep the pressure on.

"There is still time for any member, non-member, or motorhome owner who hasn’t written to their MP to do so – but don’t delay. Your letter could make all the difference."

“This won’t be easy, but the industry needs to do its utmost to tackle this issue.”