CO2 car tax hits motorists

2010-09-01 08:01

Johannesburg - People will be paying significantly more for new cars from Wednesday.

The new "green" tax, which applies to new passenger vehicles which release more than 120g of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre, comes into effect on Wednesday.

For each extra gram of CO2/km, the car's price increases by R85.50 (R75 plus VAT).

According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) this will bring about an average price increase of 2.5%.

The national treasury said the environmental tax is based on the "polluter pays principle" and is intended to change consumer behaviour.

For this reason the treasury and industry will recommend that dealers indicate the CO2 tax separately on invoices.

Industry response

It is still unclear whether consumers will have to pay the full amount or whether car manufacturers or dealers will absorb part of it.

"The tax will be transferred to the consumer," Gary Ronald, spokesperson for the Automobile Association (AA) said on Tuesday.

Leo Kok, spokesperson for Toyota South Africa, said they are currently looking at ways of lessening the burden on the consumer.

Toyota wants to try to absorb part of the tax, especially in cases where people buy more environmentally friendly cars.

Guy Kilfoil, head of communication at BMW South Africa, earlier told Sake24 that, due to the competitive nature of the market, manufacturers can't transfer the increased sales prices to consumers, because they will be "pricing themselves out of the market".

According to Kok, South Africa's fuel is not yet clean enough to be used in highly environmentally friendly cars.

Corollas which comply with strict European (Euro 5) standards are manufactured at Toyota's plant in Durban, but they are exported.

These cars' engines cannot function optimally with the sulphur content of our fuel, he explained.


It is difficult to say at this stage what impact the tax will have, Ronald said.

According to him, it might have an impact on the type of vehicle people are going to buy, because they might not be able to afford what they want.

"But I don't think the impact will be significant."

CO2 tax on double-cab vehicles will only come into effect in March next year in order to give manufacturers and importers time to determine their CO2 emissions.

  • hmm - 2010-09-01 08:44

    Maybe the taxpayer should also say, we pay, we rule and oust the ANC. That way the tax money would be used to advance its reason rather than filling the Mandela-Zuma family's pockets.

  • WTF - 2010-09-01 08:46

    'For each extra gram of CO2/km, the car's price increases by R85.50 (R75 plus VAT).' So they are taxing the tax.

  • Slade - 2010-09-01 08:48

    Whats the governmant going to do with this extra income... buy themselves some more merc's or Bmw's

  • Badbones - 2010-09-01 08:48

    It's all money making rubbish by the goverment, they need US to pay their lifestyle .....

  • Panjo - 2010-09-01 08:51

    I am failing to understand when they say this will change the consumer behaviour. Why don't they just ask manufacturers to stop producing vehicles that release more than 120g of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre.

  • eh - 2010-09-01 08:51

    What a laugh... "this tax is based on the polluter pays principle". Either the National Treasury spokesman is a moron or he / she thinks taxpayers are. This tax is based on the "Government black hole principle". We pour money into the hole & it disappears forever,

  • DonR - 2010-09-01 08:51

    It would be a money scam if the tax is not used to repair the roads and a portion of that tax is apportioned to the environmental bodies

  • Really???? - 2010-09-01 08:53

    And what will the CO2 tax be used for? To buy the ministers new cars? To pay for government parties and get togethers?
    What is the next new "TAX" going to be?

  • craig - 2010-09-01 08:54

    This is just a way for the state to get more tax ,nothing else.

  • Clintonv - 2010-09-01 08:54

    Just another way for government to rip off the WORKING class. Nothing else!!!
    Every other country that has this TAX, has alternate travel, we have almost zero other choice but to buy our own cars

  • stu - 2010-09-01 08:54

    tax us when we have perfect fuel provided from government and a choice

  • OB1 - 2010-09-01 08:55

    Just another cash cow for the ANC. They don't give a hoot about the environment, if they did they would:
    - sort out the quality of fuel
    - offer rewards/concessions to people who buy more environmentally friendly cars
    - use environmentally friendlier vehicles themselves instead of their gas guzzling SUV, and 5litre V8 plus BMWs,Audis and Mercs

    Only thing this government is interested in is looting from the tax payer to fund their fat cat lifestyles.

  • Just Asking - 2010-09-01 08:56

    What happens to older vehicles, which in many cases cause more pollution than newer vehicles?
    Should they not pay as well?

  • Mauritz - 2010-09-01 08:58

    If the new tax is based on the "polluter pays principle", then why not work on a scale of increasing tax on OLDER cars, like it is done in Europe?

  • mp3's mentor - 2010-09-01 08:59

    i cant believe people fall for this. people around the world are being robbed of our hard earned money. this whole thing is a farce. carbon is not harmful. plants use it to make oxygen. so manufacturers produce cars and petrol that release C02 that supposedly is damaging to the environment. we have no control over that. what a joke. i cant wait for the global revolution to happen. we need to get rid of the rockefeller following scumbags...

  • Derek - 2010-09-01 09:06

    People are overlooking the empty seats on our roads. Make journey-sharing more attractive to people and you'll take cars OFF the road - eliminating its CO2 emissions. The cost of reducing pollution by supporting the more efficient use of empty car seats is significantly lower than most if not all of the alternatives. I recently came across a website called which matches journeys automatically (save a lot of time) and is free to use. However I have not seen any constant government campaigns raising awareness of this alternative option or providing the public with a platform to do so. Not saying it is the solution, but definitely a viable option to assist with the chaos.

  • Serious? - 2010-09-01 09:07

    And what is government going to do about all the old cr@p that is on the roads already. Just take a look at the trucks, taxi's and older cars spewing out tons of smoke every year, what are they doing about that?

  • Dean - 2010-09-01 09:07

    I am just wondering where this money is going to and how by charging us for this will fix the envoriment when goverment officials and their convoy only uses "big" vehicles and I gaurentee that the same does not go for them.What about airoplanes that contribute to polution.Makes you think.

  • Car Enthusiast - 2010-09-01 09:08

    How sad!! 1st world taxes in a 3rd world country. As much as we would like to believe we are at the forefront of technology ( I believe we are) there is no escaping that we are still a 3rd world country. I think the leaders need to stop looking at making money off the man on the street but go directly to the car manufactures and get the tax from them. They are the ones making the vehicles. Maybe gov should be paying the taxes as they are allowing the manufacturers to bring the vehicles into the country. Is there a logical explanation for the CO2 tax in SA other than making money?

  • john - 2010-09-01 09:10

    More tax scamming in the name of "climate change". Nothing to see here. The next step - taxing people for breathing out, as that is adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Or taxing people for having pets because they also add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

  • TOUGH-AS-NAILS - 2010-09-01 09:13

    it's like the thing with the plastic bags at the supermarkets. and yet i wonder what we carry our groceries in today....plastic bags. i agree with one of the posts that goverment should adress the vehicle manufacturers but its greed that rules the day. ours cars dont share the same specs in europe as originally intended when the vehicles are developed. when the car lands here the fine print says specs may vary for the S.A market. they remove who knows what to sell a extras.go to the source and probe there and stop burdening a already overtaxed goverment.

  • anon - 2010-09-01 09:13

    Another government run pyramid scheme.

  • Anti-theft - 2010-09-01 09:13

    How can they tax the consumer, when they cant even get the quality of fuel up to standard in order for us to purchase cars which are cleaner, the government lacks logic , what an utter bunch of idiots.

  • andrew johnstone - 2010-09-01 09:16

    what about the vehicles that are on our roads including busses trucks cars that are spewing out black pumes of smoke every day???? why are these vehicles not taken off the roads?????

  • Nico Malan - 2010-09-01 09:17

    I've never heard of tax levied on tax - how can there be vat added onto something that is already a tax????

  • John - 2010-09-01 09:19

    This is absolute rubbish. How is it suppose to change our behaviour when our choice of hybrid and low emission cars can only be counted on one hand? Also the hybrid cars are ridiculously expensive and any other truly low emission cars that come near the 120 or lower are all 1.2L and below. What a joke. Just another shining example of our government's half brain ideas.

    This is just an excuse to get more money out of us. But I guess the growing families of our parliamentarians need to be fed somehow. What better way to do that than mooching off of us.

  • Ian - 2010-09-01 09:19

    Great Stuff! It's about time!!!! Hopefully this will lead to 4 x 4s on the road! Especially in Durbanville!!!! So sick of these idiots who drive massive big 4 x 4s that have never ever left a tar road!!! Well done to the govt!!!

  • KHH - 2010-09-01 09:22

    WTF and Panjo are correct. Not only are they taxing the tax and making the consumer rather than the manufacturer pay for it all, but they cannot even supply the fuel which will allow the cosumer to buy the "green" cars where less tax is payable.

  • Johnathan - 2010-09-01 09:22

    Government is very good a taxing, but where is the Euro5 compliant petrol??? As far as I know, we are still on the Euro 3 standard.

  • Rod - 2010-09-01 09:23

    More confirmation that we are governed by morons who believe all citizens are gormless fools

  • DJ - 2010-09-01 09:23

    They need money to pay the strikers....
    A toyota Yaris 1000cc has one of the most efficient engines on the market, and it still puts out 118g/km... so not many cars that will not get taxed.

  • JD - 2010-09-01 09:23

    Strange how all these 'rules' only effect the tax payer...Green Tax, petrol increases, toll roads etc... In the old days the taxi associations striked at every price increase, where are they these days? I will tell you..WE are paying for them. That's where the money goes that are suppose to be used to keep our roads maintained. So now we have toll roads on all highways to fill government pockets, maintain roads and fill taxi's, so it makes perfect sense that we have to pay more on cars we buy because the manufacturers can't make cars more environmentally friendly, we, the tax payer, once again get nailed for someone else's incompetence.

  • dazza - 2010-09-01 09:24

    so... what a crock of .... ! how can any worldwide governmental organisation take any monetary value to repair the environment. what are we paying for, them to get together to discuss ways to stop global warming, walk out the meeting, and nothing gets done. it is a worldwide scam and SA are jumping on board. money can't be paid to repair the damage caused by industrial demand, which is far greater than motor vehicle pollution. period. what can be done...? we need transport, we cant sanction em. it's called entrapment! i agree with "hmm", tax payers voices and control should have a greater impact on decisions made

  • William - 2010-09-01 09:25

    The biggest scam of the century. Carbon dioxide at present constitutes 390 parts per million of our atmosphere. At this level and as conducted in our lab experiments, has a zero effect on global warming. Let's follow the money and see who benefits.

  • Muhammed - 2010-09-01 09:25

    What a joke. Bet govt are exempt from this as well, yet they are major contributors of CO2 emission

  • Filipp - 2010-09-01 09:25

    Yes, it is a good trend to follow leading EU countries regarding "Air pollution control". But please do not knock the consumer again. It will more appropriate to implement some tax on oil refineries in order to improve the quality of the fuel in line with EU requirements (fuel higher then category 3) Also, have a look at the trucks, buses and the old model cars. What is the CO2 emission there? I don’t think that one Mercedes, BMW or other new vehicle of 2010 year model equipped with catalytic converts and computer operated fuel injection systems will have the same CO2 as an old junk in our roads. Have a look at this aspect firstly, before commencing a new scheme to extort” more money from middle and upper class. By implementing the CO2 emission Tax it will lead to an overall aging of the motor vehicles on our roads and then how our Government will control them the CO2 emission on 2nd and 3rd hands cars? Bottom line: “If you don’t have money in the pocket, then stop spending unnecessarily.”

  • War - 2010-09-01 09:29

    @ Panjo.. I agree with you, and to help them change the way they make cars, they should be the ones taxed for CO2.
    The CO2 tax collected can subsidise the cars with low CO2.

  • JAY - 2010-09-01 09:31

    If consumers pay this we deserve a report to prove what the money is spent on. Also I agree with WTF, we will be paying VAT (tax) on TAX - come on!!

  • Paul - 2010-09-01 09:32

    What about old cars (buses and taxis) that pollute the environment????

  • RJ - 2010-09-01 09:34

    How about the fuel companies pay. It is their damn fuel that is not up to standard??

  • Anon - 2010-09-01 09:35

    Its a money making scam AGAIN. Just making the government richer AGAIN.
    Between the government and the unions we will not have a country one of these days.

  • Helen - 2010-09-01 09:36

    Whne will this end?? When will 'they' realise that we the people of SA DO NOT HAVE tons of cash lying around doing nothing. Get rid of the scrap taxis driving on the roads first. 99.9% of them emit more C02 than a car. It's time Government started paying too.

  • SS - 2010-09-01 09:37

    I dint mind paying a green tax if:
    The government gives us a better quality fuel – still a few years off.
    I can see where the tax money is ploughed back into alternative energy sources/generation.
    Unfortunately the money will go to rigged tenders the governing part cronies can get their massive kickbacks

  • Riva - 2010-09-01 09:40

    Agree with KHH. Can we not take this matter to an ombudsman. Let's DO something! WE should not be paying when we aren't given a choice!

  • PAYE - 2010-09-01 09:44

    It is not surprising with the consumer must pay for everything… This is a global effect and the excuse is to force manufactures for more environmental products to protect the ozone against global warming. I believe the consumers do understand that something needs to be done for the future, but they are not the manufacturer and only the end user. The consumer can only use in the market what is available; at the end this is another way for regulators to “scam” easy money from the consumer. There are quite a lot of examples… i.e. toll roads, look at the condition of secondary roads that should be safe as an alternative road for those who cannot afford to use toll roads… if you use the secondary road and hit a pothole that damage your car some insurance companies does not pay for these damages… who suffer at the end… it is easy to say to claim the cost from the municipalities, who have the money for layers, at the end you need your car now and not months or even years later; i.e. government is responsible to serve and protect… what is the consumer do? They set-up security systems at homes – alarms and for those who can afford it even security alarms, hire security respond companies, who is paying for that, the consumer, they not get a tax deduction for take care of their own safety even some insurance companies expect that the consumer must proof they take action to protect their property… I know other who read this can even mention more examples… we know globally governments thinking out schemes for collecting easy money from consumers so that they can have a more luxury life style… BUT WE AS CONSUMERS CAN ONLY BLAME OURSELVES, BECAUSE WE ARE EXCEPTING TO BE BULLY BY THOSE WHO ARE IN CONTROL AND CHANGE REGULATORY AND STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS TO FORCE THE CONSUMER TO PAY…

  • Jo - 2010-09-01 09:44

    We need to use this as motivation to hurt the people who've been hurting us - govt and car manufacturers. Come SA - no new cars for 6 months and lets see how they cope!!! They're been ripping us off for far too long, its time we give them a taste of their own medicine!!

  • Stuart - 2010-09-01 09:45

    The problem is that as more and more cars dip below the CO2 threshold, revenues from this source will reduce. What will government do then for the revenue? Will this money be used to fund "cleaner" fuel. It should've been a fuel tax.

  • desmnd - 2010-09-01 09:46

    I don't suppose that State employees who decide they need gas guzzlers will have to pay this tax out of their own pockets. Maybe if they had too they would choose more economical cars. We can always hope!!

  • Pieter - 2010-09-01 09:49

    Nice lucrative little scheme from Goverment. Keep fuel full of carbon deliberately and then tax the "polluters" While clean running cars that cannot run on our crappy fuel is already manufactured here but exported.

  • VIXMIX - 2010-09-01 09:53

    I believe that Minibus Taxis are exempt from paying this tax according to one dealer I spoke to! Real nice!