THOUSANDS of van drivers across the nation are set to be slapped with a sneaky motoring tax rise – and a majority will be caught off guard.
Three in five white van drivers are unaware that the van benefit charge is set to rise after Jeremy Hunt snuck it into his Autumn Statement.
From April, basic rate taxpayers will have to fork out an extra £72 a year, upping the total to £720.
And for higher rate taxpayers, the rise will see them take an extra £144 hit.
The price hike applies to tradespeople who use their company vans for private use.
But 62 per cent of van drivers are unaware of the looming tax hike, according to a survey from Auto Trader.
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The move has been slammed by some who have criticised the tax increase amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Tory MP Greg Smith said: “Van drivers are the backbone of our economy – be it trades like builders and plumbers or delivery drivers and so much more.
“If we want the economy to grow, the answer can never be to clobber them with more and more taxes.”
An Auto Trader spokesman said: “Our findings show that the new fresh tax raid coming their way in April will be a complete shock to most van drivers, adding to the heavy burden that they've already faced this year.
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“It might even be the straw that breaks the camel's back for many of them.”
The Treasury said: “Drivers who only use their vans for business are not subject to the Van Benefit Charge because it only applies to private use.
“Those who do pay it will not see a real-terms increase next year.
“The £2.4billion fuel duty cut saves van drivers around £200 each.”
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