Company car drivers are to face a three percent year-on-year hike in company car tax from 2019/2020, with the Government claiming that the rates for ultra-low emission vehicles will rise at a slower rate than previously announced. Chancellor George Osborne has been accused of discouraging potential take-up for ULEVs following the changes to company car tax rates announced in last year's budget. Drivers of plug-in vehicles especially are to be targeted with substantial year on year increases over the next four years or more. The announcement meant that benefit-in-kind tax rates will rise at a significantly faster rate during the next four years than for cars with higher emissions. The Chancellor appeared to have recognised the potential fall-back for this approach, and announced that he would now look to slow year-on-year increases in ULEVS, and increase year-on-year change for cars emitting more than 75g/km at a faster rate. Andrew Hogsden, senior manager for Fleet Consultancy at Lex Autolease, said: 'The announcement that BIK rates will rise by 3% in 2019 makes it even more important for businesses to identify vehicles with low CO2 emissions that are both fit for purpose and attractive to drivers. 'They should also consider new and alternative technologies, which will become increasingly available by 2019, as well as best in class traditional fuels.î The planned fuel duty increase that was originally planned for September 1st 2015 has also been cancelled. By the end of 2015/2016, the Government will have eased the financial burden on motorists by around £22.4 billion, equating to an overall saving of £675 for a typical motorist, £1,400 for small businesses and as a much as £21,000 for hauliers. The fuel duty will have been frozen for five years by the end of the 2015/2016 financial year, the longest freeze for more than two decades. As part of his Budget, the Chancellor also announced support for road hauliers.æ The Government is planning to review the speed with which HGV driving tests and medical assessments take place, and will look at options in which the process can be accelerated. The Chancellor also singled out driverless cars as being a definite investment opportunity, with £100 already being ear-marked for funding.æ The Treasury plan to enhance the development of both driverless technologyæ as well as the systems required to adopt it.