Cyprus Mail

Used car importers stage protest outside House

Used car importers staged a demonstration outside the House of Representatives on Friday to protest against the bill tabled for a vote at the plenum which seeks to link road tax to emissions.

The association of used car importers claim that the passing of the bill by the plenum will devastate used car purchases, saying the government’s environmental concerns are a false front, as the road tax will soar for older cars with lower emissions than newer luxury cars that will not be affected by the new regime.

The bill in question was on the Friday agenda of the plenum but discussion was postponed for two weeks.

Under the new regime, the road tax payable will be: vehicles with carbon dioxide emissions less than 120g per kilometre, €0.5 per gramme; 120 to 150 g/km, €3 per gramme; 150 to 180g/km, €5 per gramme; and over 180g/km, €10 per gramme.

Road taxes will also feature an additional fee depending on which emissions standard a vehicle complies with.

Vehicles compliant with the Euro6 emissions standard (manufactured from September 2014 and later) will not be subject to any extra charge. However, diesel-powered vehicles complying with Euro6 and designated as having 6c and 6d exhaust emissions will be charged €100.

For Euro5-compliant cars (September 2009 to August 2014), an additional €100 will be charged for vehicles running on petrol and €250 for those running on diesel. For older vehicles, the charges are €300 for petrol and €600 for diesel.

The aim of Euro 6 is to reduce levels of harmful car and van exhaust emissions, both in petrol and diesel cars. For diesels, the permitted level of nitrogen oxides emitted has dramatically dropped to a maximum of 80mg/km, compared to the 180mg/km level that was required for cars that met the previous Euro5 emissions standard.

Although agreeing the emissions charges, MPs remain divided on whether to scrap the fuel consumption tax entirely, or keep the levy and make it a staggered one – higher charges for higher emissions.

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