Car manufacturers should create affordable options for large cars if SUVs begin to receive more taxes.
That’s according to Sunday Independent Motoring Editor Geraldine Herbert in response to Labour’s calls for increased taxes on SUVs.
Labour leader Ivana Bacik proposed introducing taxes on SUVs similar to the French system in which the cars are taxed according to their weight.
“This sort of initiative has really been very successful and effective in helping to reduce emissions and helping to curb the purchase of fossil fuel powered SUVs,” she said.
Ms Herbert told Newstalk Breakfast the cutoff point on taxes in the French system mean only large SUVs are impacted – and there are few SUVs that large in Ireland.
The French likely entered bargains with car manufacturers to agree on taxes that do not impact a large number of SUVs, according to Ms Herbert.
She also said larger families were given a tax credit – pointing to an issue with large families and SUVs.
“I think that's an acknowledgement of the fact that there isn't a huge amount of choice outside of SUVs for family cars,” she said.
While families should make smart decisions about their purchases, car makers have a “huge role” to provide affordability.
“Car makers have a huge role here to provide affordable cars for families that offer space, safety and practicality and they really haven't been doing that for the last decade,” Ms Herbert argued.
Demand for SUVs
“Over the last decade, car makers created this desire for SUVs and sold them to families as being these very safe ways to transport your precious cargo," Ms Herbert said.
“Consumers responded to that - they demanded more SUVs of all sizes and shapes and there's virtually no market for people carriers we used to have.”
While cars are already taxed heavily according to Ms Herbert, we can expect further taxes in the future on larger cars.
“There's an onus on consumers to think about their buying choices, but car makers have to provide alternatives to SUVs in the form of people carriers to give people options,” she argued.