At last, good news for motorists in 2012

At last, some good news for motorists as 2011 draws to a close. With the Office of Fair Trading investigating the spiralling rise of car and van insurance premiums over the last two years and drivers in London facing fines of up to £100 per day if their vehicles do not meet with the Euro III emission legislation from January 3rd, it’s about time.

But George Osborne has delivered some timely relief, putting the £0.03 per litre rise in petrol duty that was scheduled for January on hold. As the UK distances itself further from Europe and the threat of a double-dip recession has not entirely disappeared beyond us over the horizon, this is a shot in the arm that British business sorely needs.

As a double-boost, the additional rise of £0.05/litre that was to be introduced in August has been cancelled entirely, however January’s postponed £0.03/litre will be added then. As much as these delays and cancellations aid the economy, the chancellor was quick to point out that increases now would also “be tough for working families at a time like this”.

Theoretically, this deferment could see the average family grossly better off, recording a saving of £144 a year on fuel alone with the additional cuts that the con-dems have made since the March budget. If the OFT’s market study results prove that there is something untoward in the relationship between car and van insurance providers and their third party associates, this could mean further reductions in the annual running costs of the family vehicle.

As well as the RAC welcoming the move, spokesperson for the campaigners FairFuelUK auto-journalist Quentin Wilson voiced his appreciation. Whether the Chancellor has made the deferrals because of the group’s e-petition or not, as Mr Wilson alludes, will never be known. However, he pledges to continue lobbying the house, hoping to drive down duty and release the revenue to households who can grow the stuttering UK economy in other areas.

In the run up to Christmas, it may be worth just pointing out to the males of the species that we have less than a week of shopping left before the big day. Any money saved in advance of 2012, whether it be on fuel or in the hope that reductions will help us uncover cheap van insurance, you can always stop off at the service station and get your wife a little something extra, if you have not yet bagged her something for that Christmas stocking.

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