New seatbelt tax from April 2025
Public finances to get significant boost following levy on universal safety technology
Here's TopGear.com's roving correspondent, Cory Spondent, with his mostly incorrect exclusives from the world of motoring
Any new car sold with a seatbelt will be subject to an additional tax, the government has announced.
Motorists have traditionally been exempt from paying for the inclusion of life-saving and fundamental safety technology, but treasury officials pointed to the fact that people will likely need to get from one place to another without significant injury for the foreseeable future, or until time travel happens.
Following the removal of the VED exemption on electric cars, the government said it would be ‘fairer’ if motorists began paying for their continual safety on an annual basis.
“Because forecasts point to consumers needing to travel safely from A to B and arrive unharmed in the decades to come, I’ve decided that any car fitted with a seatbelt will be subject to an additional levy,” Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said.
Motoring groups across the UK criticised the new levy and warned that a seatbelt tax was setting a dangerous precedent. “What next, a tax on car doors? Accelerator pedals? Steering racks? Once you open this seal there’s no turning back.
“Next they’ll be charging motorists a subscription for heated seats that have already been fitted to the car.”
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Look out for your regular round-up of news, reviews and offers in your inbox.
Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.