Tax threat cuts sales of 4X4s

The threat of higher tax duties and a special congestion charge has seen the
sales of 4×4 off-road vehicles fall for the first time.

A total of 105,196 new off-roaders were sold in the first seven months of
2006, compared with 106,732 in the same period last year, according to
Manufacturer Magazine.

This fall has been blamed on the possibility of owners being charged as much as
£1,800 a year in vehicle excise duty – about nine times the current price, while
in London, where many of the so-called ‘Chelsea trucks’ are driven, Mayor Ken
Livingstone has threatened to raise the £8 congestion charge to £25 for 4x4s.

The fall in the UK, is not as steep as in the US though were sales have
slumped 28%, prompting General Motors to slow down production.

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