Black cabbies to get £1,550 car tax break a year early to ditch diesel and go electric

BRITAIN'S black cabbies will get a tax break worth £1,550 if they go green – a year earlier than planned.

Taxi drivers opting for a zero-emission ride will be exempt from the luxury car tax from April.

Cars costing over £40,000 face a £310 a year surcharge on vehicle excise duty for the first five years under laws introduced last year.

But any cabbies buying the new all-electric TX black cab built by LEVC – costing around £55,000 – or the upcoming Metrocab won't have to pay.

The tax break was initially announced in the Budget last November with plans to bring it in from April 2019.

But the government has dragged this forward a year to convince taxi drivers to clean up their act and ditch older diesels.

It's estimated that if just one switches to a zero emission vehicle, it would rid the country of seven tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

With over 75,000 black cabs operating in England alone, a large shift to electric cabs would slash emissions massively.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said: “We’re backing Britain’s black cab drivers to go green. This is a victory for the environment and new technologies, which I am determined to support as we build an economy fit for the future.

“Ensuring the air in our bustling towns and cities is free from pollution is part of our quest to become the first government to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”

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Some cabbies have already bought and registered the new black cab on the current tax rules and face paying the £310 charge.

But the cab maker LEVC said it would compensate these early adopters so they weren't penalised.

The new taxi is estimated to save drivers £400 a month in fuel and cabbies can get up to £7,500 in plug-in grant for switching to the zero-emissions model.

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