WLTP-based registration tax makes Dutch market sputter
According to Dutch automotive retail association Bovag, the increased registration tax caused by the introduction of WLTP in 2019 is putting a damper on new car sales. Worse still, dealers are said to have little new orders in the pipeline.
Bovag says the average registration tax (or BPM in Dutch) has increased by €800 on petrol-powered cars and even €2,000 on diesel-burning vehicles. In the Netherlands, registration tax calculations are based on the CO2 emissions of the car. WLTP, the new type-approval method that was introduced last year, results in more realistic and therefore higher CO2 values and by consequence higher taxes.
The association urges the Dutch government to adapt the way BPM is calculated. They say WLTP is responsible for the 15% drop in new car sales during the first two months of the year compared to the same period last year.
Effects on the leasing business
WLTP is also causing fleets to pull the handbrake in some cases, as Harm Hoek, Manager International Sales at Business Lease, explains:
“Companies still order cars. However, where there is a possibility to prolong a contract, companies will do so. Furthermore, it has come to our attention that companies are hesitating to change their car or mobility policy because they have no idea where to go as the outlook is uncertain. Of course, the same applies for mobility or fleet strategies: as the outlook is too uncertain no one is willing to develop or implement a new strategy.”
Athlon sees no slow-down in its order intake, however. “Our customers keep ordering and Athlon Netherlands continues to grow. We see an increasing demand for electric vehicles. This increase also relates to the growing variety and availability of electric cars, the extension of ranges and charging infrastructure,” says Niels van den Hoogen, Chief Commercial Officer Athlon Netherlands.
Indeed, WLTP could act as a catalyst towards electrification as zero-emission cars are not affected by the new protocol – 0 g/km remains 0 g/km. On top of an advantageous BPM, pure-electric vehicles with a list price of up to €50,000 benefit from a reduced BIK percentage of just 4% in the Netherlands.