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Tax breaks for greener cars

Published on 07/09/2004

7 September 2004

BRUSSELS – Eco-friendly car drivers in Belgium are to benefit from tax breaks from next year, it was reported on Tuesday.

The finance ministry said cars that emit less than 105g of carbon dioxide per kilometre will win owners a 15 percent tax reduction.

The discount will be calculated on the price paid for the car and will see some drivers saving up to EURO 3,280.

Cars with emissions of between 105 and 115g of CO2 will get a three percent tax break – a potential saving of EURO 615.

The initiative was decided at a government brainstorming session in Ostend in March.

At the talks ministers decided to try to reward consumers who opted for new cars that damage the environment less than traditional vehicles.

The finance department said the tax break would be effective from January 1 2005.

But many details of the new measures are still to be decided, such as what proof of purchase will be demanded from taxpayers in exchange for the break.

In theory, drivers of electric vehicles would benefit from the change, although these cars are no longer sold in Belgium because they aren’t really suitable for normal car use.

Light cars with diesel motors that are fuel efficient would meet the requirements, such as the three-litre VW Lupo, the diesel A2 Audi and the diesel Smart.

Another car deemed eco-friendly is the Toyota Prius – a car that has both an electric and a petrol engine.

Up until a speed of 50km/hour, it runs using the electric engine.

Costing EUR 27,000, buyers would get the full 15 percent tax break and would also be exempt from the registration tax of EUR 62,50.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news