Fuel-efficient cars cheaper from october

From 1. October will see a change in austria that has been common practice in many other european countries for years: from then on, vehicle tax will no longer be based solely on engine performance, but also on the cars’ CO2 emissions. Low-consumption vehicles will thus become less expensive.

If you are thinking about buying a new car right now, you might want to wait a few more weeks. As of 1. October, engine-related insurance tax changes: vehicles that consume less fuel and therefore emit less CO2 will be taxed more favorably, while cars with higher fuel consumption and emissions will be taxed more heavily.

malus from 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer

The limit has been set at 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer, which is roughly equivalent to five liters of super per 100 kilometers, or slightly less for diesel. Each additional gram of CO2 costs just under nine euros. The type of fuel burned does not play a role in calculating the tax rate; only the emission value is decisive. The new rules only apply to new registrations; nothing will change for vehicles that are already registered.

Waiting for the three-liter car

the austrian traffic club (VCo) welcomes the new regulation in principle, says VCo spokesman christian gratzer to help.ORF.At. However, the limit should have been set lower: "the auto industry has been talking about the three-liter car for 30 years. However, the real fuel consumption of new cars is still twice as high at around six liters. And that’s a problem for achieving the climate targets, because the more CO2 the cars emit, the more other measures have to be taken to achieve the climate targets," says gratzer.

New Volkswagen cars are parked in the Autostadt car towers at the VW plant in Wolfsburg (Lower Saxony, Germany)

APA/dpa/julian stratenschulte still no three-liter cars: new cars at volkswagen plant in wolfsburg (D)

Suvs become more expensive

VCo has calculated the new vehicle tax for three models of by far the most popular car brand in austria. For example, a current-generation VW Golf with 150 hp (diesel) will cost between around 115 and just under 180 euros less per year in taxes, depending on the equipment that affects consumption and emissions.

A golf in the estate version with a gasoline engine and 110 hp will be between just under 230 and around 280 euros cheaper. The SUV model VW touareg with 340 hp, gasoline engine and an unladen weight of more than two tons, on the other hand, will become more expensive by between a good 500 and just under 700 euros per year.

Taxation according to WLTP values

The decisive factor for taxation are the values according to the so-called WLTP test procedure (worldwide harmonised light vehicles test procedure), which produces significantly more realistic figures than previous test cycles and has been mandatory for type approval in the EU since 2018. The WLTP procedure also takes into account, among other things, the equipment of the vehicles. The test is also carried out on the road instead of on the test bench.

A car drives on a road with a mobile test device during a WLTP emission test

APA/volkswagen AG/- the WLTP test (here on a public road) delivers more realistic values than earlier test procedures in the laboratory

Further ecologization of the tax system called for

The future higher taxation of high-consumption cars and the relief of more efficient models are indeed a step in the right direction, says christian gratzer from VCo – but just one step. Ultimately, the decisive factor is mobility behavior, when and how often cars are used.

However, this is influenced less by taxes on new cars than by the price of fuel. To put it bluntly: the cheaper the fuel, the more likely you are to drive your car. If the price rises, on the other hand, the vehicle is left standing more often and more carpools are formed. This is what studies have shown, says gratzer.

VCo: more taxes on CO2, less on labor

According to gratzer, an ecologization of the tax system is overdue, as austria is already lagging behind in achieving its climate targets. "a comparison of fuel prices with other european countries shows that austria is one of the countries where filling up is particularly cheap. In the end, it will cost us dearly because it will also worsen austria’s climate footprint. It is to be hoped that in the future, resource consumption and CO2 emissions will be priced higher in the tax system and that factors such as taxes on labor will be reduced in return."

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