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July 13, 2016 at 5:23 PM

Britain's choice to leave the EU has left most people with more questions than answers. There have been fewer times in recent history with so much confusion surrounding so many changes.

Manifestos already deviating from their winning agendas. Regardless, Britain still stands divided on whether Brexit is best. Members of the Freight Transport Association are torn equally about if things will improve, and 64% see an immediate downturn. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders carried out a survey which revealed 77% of businesses in the motoring trade wanted to remain in the EU. Now it's all over it's easy to see why: stories about inflated insurance, diesel scrappage schemes, increases in vehicle costs, limited market access, higher fuel prices and unfair congestion charges are all hitting the headline. The RAC and the AA can't even agree on how things will go, and as yet, no major decisions have been made.


Is Brexit really that bad? What does it mean for van drivers? How does it affect you?

First, most changes won't come into practice until the UK exits the EU, that will take about two years to fully transition. Second, when it comes to a greener Britain, the UK's own targets on reducing carbon emissions are actually stricter than those set out by the EU; the only difference being the time-frame: probably less hurried without having to meet the EU's 2020 RED target. But thanks to the EU, better fuel efficiency, and lower carbon emissions have already been achieved. The issue everyone's debating is how to meet the long-term goals of lowering deadly levels of CO2. Tougher congestion charges and scrapping diesel engines seem likely and has stirred up a hornet's nest. 

Most urban areas exceed the legal limit of air pollution, and the finger points at old diesel vans, taxis, and lorries. So in response to Client Earth's legal challenge, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set out clean air zones in five major cities, and it is here where drivers will be hit with congestion charges. For London, vehicles older than 2005 will suffer an additional air pollution charge. Officials agree it's complicated, there are fewer green options for vans than cars, there will have to be incentives. Many newer diesel engine vans have lower emissions, so to announce a scrappage scheme seems unfair. However, with expected increases in all vehicle costs due to, what HSBC and Goldman Sachs estimates a 20% loss in the value of the pound, now could be the best time to trade in older vehicles while prices on new ones are still favourable, and the newest engines in-line with Britain's targets for reducing Co2. 

As for insurance and fuel prices, it is swings and roundabouts. The new policy on insurance, which increased premiums for women, but lowered insurance for men, may get dropped. And fuel prices are dictated by the price of oil, which is hard to predict and priced in US dollars, not euros. We are all playing the waiting game.


Tags: Brexit Change Laws and Regulations CO2 Blog