Take-up of low emission vehicles is likely to be much lower due to a change in the car tax, according to a survey of AA members.

Almost three out of every five AA members (59%) who responded say there will be little or no incentive to buy low CO2 emissions cars following changes to the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) bands, which come into force in April 2017.

There are currently 445 low-emissions car models paying £0 in tax band A. Under the new rules there would be just 13 models that have zero emissions.

Currently there are 13 CO2-based VED bands, from A (£0) to M (£505). But, from April 2017, there will only be two: zero (£0) for cars that emit no CO2 and standard (£140) for everything else. Cars registered before April 2017 will continue to pay under the current scheme.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “The current graduated VED system works well and encourages drivers to opt for more fuel-efficient vehicles. While our members realised that the system needed to be reformed they think the proposed system will not encourage the take-up of lower emission vehicles.

“In the new VED system, only pure electric or hydrogen fuel cell cars will qualify for the lowest band. We believe the current system could have been reviewed to give more incentives for those that opt for lower emission vehicles.

“The Government impact assessment predicts a surge of band A, B and C sales prior to start date. After that date two identical cars in driveways next to each other could have annual VED at £0 or £140.”