The government has admitted that some nine million motorists will have to pay more road tax under 'green' reforms planned for the next two years.
The reforms will redefine the tax brackets, with top polluting vehicles paying up to £440 for tax discs.
Up to 43 per cent of road users will see their bills rise by as much as £245 by April 2010, whereas less than 20 per cent will be better off in real terms.
The figures, which were revealed by Treasury Minister Angela Eagle in Parliament this week, have been criticised by, erm, just about everyone. The AA warned that the changes were 'politically dangerous', while the Conservatives described them as a 'stealth charge'.
Eagle said that, in 2009/10, 55 per cent of cars would be 'no worse off', while 44 per cent will pay more. It is estimated that the Government will receive more than Â£1 billion in extra vehicle excise duty by 2011.
It was initially thought that the reforms would punish only the very most polluting vehicles, but it has been calculated that five of the UK's most popular cars will face a tax increase.
"Clearly low-income families who have motor vehicles will be among those that are affected," admitted Labour minister Jane Kennedy.