Car buyers would pay thousands more under emissions plan
4:00AM Wednesday August 27, 2008
By David Eames

The Government is considering a new tax on vehicles that could add thousands of dollars to the price of a new or imported car.

The levy - which could come into force next year if approved by the Cabinet - would see vehicle importers charged $150 per gram of CO2 emitted per kilometre travelled, above the standard of 214g CO2/km.

The tax would apply to all passenger and light service vehicles brought into the country, with the 214g limit slowly being reduced to 170g - the approximate emission level of a Suzuki Swift - by 2015.

Motorcycles and heavy trade vehicles would be exempt from the scheme.

But National finance spokesman Bill English warned last night the tax would mean hefty increases to the price of a new vehicle, from about $4000 for a van to $10,000 for a Holden Commodore in 2009.

"The family sedan or wagon is likely to go up in price by more than $7000 by 2015."

Mr English said though the new tax would apply only to new and imported used cars, second hand cars would likely also become more expensive.

More here.