CO2 Vehicle Emission Tax for South Africa

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CO2 Vehicle Emission Tax for South Africa

As early as 2003 the South African government has been looking at financial measures to encourage the use of more fuel efficient vehicles to support environmental reforms.

With overall commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025, the so-called “gas-guzzling” vehicles were an obvious target and in 2009 the Treasury proposed a carbon dioxide (CO2) component in the vehicle excise duty.

Following extensive discussions within the motor industry, in particular the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), the concept was changed to become a specific carbon emissions tax, effective since September 1, 2010.

However, there was some confusion as to which vehicles would be affected by the new tax. The original 2009 proposal was under the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, which includes dual cab light commercial vehicles, while the revised ruling became part of the Customs and Excise Act, which does not. Another point raised by NAAMSA was the lack of reliable data on CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles. The National Treasury then issued a press release on August 26, 2010, just days before the tax was due to be implemented, that the tax would not be applied to dual cab vehicles until March 1, 2011, while other light commercial vehicles, single cabs and light vans would be subject to the new tax at a later date.

The CO2 emissions threshold, on which the tax is based, remained at 120 grams per kilometre (g/km) for passenger cars, but was set at 175 g/km for dual cab vehicles. Tax is levied at a rate of R75 for every g/km above the threshold for passenger cars, while dual cabs are subject to a rate of R100 for each g/km over the threshold.

So what are the implications for South African motorists?

The new CO2 tax is expected to add around 2% to the cost of a new vehicle, which some commentators doubt will have a significant affect on motivating new car buyers to go for a more environmentally friendly vehicle. Another negative comment expressed by many is that the current standard of South African fuel makes it almost impossible to either import or manufacture a passenger vehicle in South Africa that can achieve the 120 g/km threshold. A Toyota Prius, for example has a CO2 emission of 94 g/km. However, if you go for a VW Jetta diesel, one of the most fuel efficient vehicles around, the CO2 emission is above the threshold at 129 g/km. Go for a Toyota Landcruiser 4.7 litre and the CO2 emission level rises to 341 g/km.

Taking the above into consideration, if you are looking to buy a new or a used car, or if you are interested in selling your car, bidorbuy has a wide selection of new and second hand cars for sale.


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