May news round-up: Van VED, new pick-ups, Toyota camper, hot Transit

Chancellor considers VED cut for the greenest vans

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced plans to consult on cutting VED rates for the ‘cleanest vans.’

However, in his Spring Statement, which no longer acts as a full Budget, the Chancellor didn’t go into detail on what the consultation would ask or which vans might be affected. The document wasn’t published after his speech.

He said: “Following our successful intervention to incentivise green taxis, we’ll help the Great British white van driver go green with a consultation on reduced VED rates for the cleanest vans.”

The FTA said that the announcement was an encouraging move and said: “The Government needs to provide clear guidance for operators on how the changes can be made, with minimal impact on business planning processes and overheads, to ensure that logistics companies can continue to offer a competitive, effective service to their customers.”

The announcement comes at a time when diesel VED cars are being hit with higher taxes, with the rise happening on 1 April. The chancellor’s wording suggests that any exemptions will be for alternatively fuelled vehicles, because from April 1 van VED rates are up from £240 a year to £250. Electric models are currently exempt from paying VED.


Toyota launches Wellhouse camperToyota Wellhouse camper 2018

Toyota has paired up with Wellhouse to create a new camper van based on the Proace van. The Lerina will be available through Toyota’s dealer network, and costs £42,000. It has a kitchen, a pop-up roof and a double bed.


Mercedes adds V6 engine to X-Class

A new range-topping V6 diesel engine has been added to the Mercedes-Benz X-Class range. The 258hp X350d generates 550Nm of torque. The model has permanent four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox.


Entry-level VW AmarokVW Amarok Trendline 163PS 2018

Volkswagen has launched an entry-level Amarok pick-up that costs from £24,510 (excluding VAT). The new Trendline model comes with a 163hp version of the 3.0-litre V6 diesel that features in the rest of the Amarok range, plus a manual gearbox. It still offers a payload of 1073kg and a towing capacity of 3000kg. Deliveries start in May.


Hot MS-RT Ford Transit

Ford van tuner MS-RT has revealed its take on the latest Transit Custom. The Ford-approved van gets a selection of visual tweaks including a bespoke front bumper and grille, wider wheel arches and sills, and a rear diffuser and spoiler. It also gets a sports exhaust, 18-inch alloy wheels and lowered suspension. It is expected to add around £9,000 to the cost of a standard Transit.