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Britain's drivers are unlikely to change their car-buying habits as a result of the Government's latest tax hikes in the 2008 Budget, CAR Magazine reveals today. In an exclusive survey of more than 1000 motorists* , 76% said that even the highest £950 first-year charge for the worst-polluting cars would not stop them buying high-CO2 cars.

The survey, which ran on www.carmagazine.co.uk, produced surprising results. It showed that if new road tax increases are introduced, only a fifth of motorists would never buy another gas guzzler again. Compare this to the staggering 76% who said that if they can afford a new car, the tax involved would not stop them from buying it – as it's 'just a financial drop in the ocean' over the life of the car.

Chancellor Alistair Darling announced a shake-up of the UK's motoring taxes in the March 2008 Budget, with a new sliding scale that penalises gas guzzlers pumping out high levels of CO2. Worst hit are cars emitting more than 255g/km of CO2 – they fall in the new M tax band and will incur a £950 first-year tax.

'Our research suggests that the Budget changes are futile – just a fifth of UK drivers say the £950 first-year tax is enough to dissuade them from buying a so-called gas guzzler, so whether Gordon Brown raises tax or makes a U-turn, our survey results identify that it won't make much of a difference to people's car-buying habits,' said Tim Pollard, CAR's associate editor.

'Most motorists believe that if they can afford to buy an expensive car, a £950 bill is a minor inconvenience. That suggests this is a revenue raising scam by the Government, rather than an exercise to change motorists’ behaviour.'

The results of this survey will add fuel to the debate surrounding the motives for the proposed road tax hikes, and will be a blow to the Government's claims that its main objective is to encourage people to move to green motoring. It also further supports recent concerns that higher taxes are more likely to hit those with less money, while those who are currently driving the larger, less eco-friendly models will continue to do so, simply because they can afford it.

CAR Magazine, Britain's longest established motoring monthly, is a leading source of news, reviews and features for those who are interested in everything to do with cars. For more information, buy this month’s edition of CAR Magazine, out now!

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For more information please contact Nikola Oakey or Victoria McGovern at the CAR Magazine Press Office.
Email: victoria.mcgovern@thejjgroup.com / nikola.oakey@thejjgroup.com
Telephone: 01865 343100

Notes to Editor:

• CAR Magazine is the UK's oldest monthly car magazine, with an ABC of 75,031 (ABC, July-December 2007)
• Please visit www.carmagazine.co.uk for more information

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* Survey conducted on 1052 unique users of CAR Magazine Online, April-May 2008

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