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7 Jan 2011

There are definitely a few glum faces around this week – January has arrived and Christmas is definitely over! The decorations have come down, you’ve calculated the cost of the festive season both on your bank balance and waistline, tax returns are due and, as the months stretch out before you, and all you can think of (if you haven’t planned your big summer holiday yet) is work, work, work…

For drivers, this January is particularly depressing. Rising oil prices, coupled with yet another fuel duty hike AND the January 4 2.5 per cent VAT rise, mean fuel prices are at an astronomical level. Snow and ice comes and goes causing havoc and delays on the roads. Your MOT and insurance might be coming round too meaning yet more Wonga will be coming out of your bank account instead of coming in.

Even the most chipper of individuals would find January hard to cope with. Why do you think it’s the proud owner of Blue Monday, the ‘most depressing day’ of the year? This year (in case you’re interested and want to stock up on tissues and chocolate in advance) falls on 24 January.

This is why we’ve compiled a list of good news to cheer motorists up as they struggle through the most maudlin of months:

  • Some carmakers, such as Subaru, Hyundai, SEAT and Renault, are absorbing the latest VAT rise for many of their new cars
  • The Treasury is reconsidering the introduction of a fuel duty stabiliser to lower the proportion of tax paid on fuel when oil prices rise
  • Prospective car buyers can now benefit from the Plug-In Car Grant of £5,000 when buying any qualifying low carbon car with CO2 emissions less than 75g/km. This incentive was introduced on 1 January
  • The Government has pledged to ‘end the war on the motorist’ by abolishing limits on car spaces for new homes and removing guidelines forcing councils to set high parking charges
  • Western Londoners can now save a bit more money after the scrapping of the western congestion charging zone, which took place on Christmas Eve

We hope this helps. If not, there’s only 24 days left until February…

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