MPs on Monday moved closer to a new road tax regime aiming to encourage vehicles with lower emissions and prevent Cyprus from turning into what some have described as a ‘graveyard’ for antiquated, polluting cars.
The revised bill introduces the EU’s ‘Euro’ emission standard. Road tax will be decided not only based on the age of the vehicle but its emissions, the Cyprus News Agency reported.
The new regime will apply only to vehicles that will be registered after approval of the new law, and not those that have already been registered.
The first bill generated a storm of protests as it was seen as favouring new vehicles. A revised version was discussed at a joint session of the House Transport and Finance Committees today. The two committees will meet again on Thursday and the aim is for the bill to be sent to the plenary for a vote on Friday, March 1.
Disy president Averof Neophytou said that used cars bought new in Cyprus have little value five or six years later because of the import of second hand cars from abroad. “We create value for the citizens of the UK and Japan and have turned our country into a graveyard for old cars with big engines,” he said.
He said he supported cheap, safe and environmentally-friendly cars and expressed the hope that higher road tax would stop the import of cars over five years old.
AKEl MP Christakis Tziovanis said the new bill was balanced. EDEK’s Marinos Sizopoulos said it would be submitting amendments so that higher road tax would be imposed for polluting cars.
Greens MP Charalambos Theopemtopu said the government should be promoting public transport and cycle paths and complying with the EU’s environmental targets and not increasing the use of cars by making them cheaper.
Elam MP Linos Papayiannis said those in government would prevent poor and middle class people from buying a more eco-friendly car and that the new framework served particular interests.
The revised bill sets a maximum road tax of €500 for vehicles with Euro 4 engines and below, the Cyprus News Agency said.
For Euro 5 (5a +5b) vehicles (cars of September 2009 to August 2014) the road tax will be €100 for petrol and €200 for diesel. Euro 6c and Euro 6d, vehicles of all types will pay no road tax. Other Euro 6 (Α and Β) vehicles, both petrol and diesel will pay €100.
Euro 6 are five year old cars and Euro 6c are cars manufactured between September 2019 and August 2020, the Cyprus News Agency said.