Sales of ’green’ cars are expected to overtake ’gas guzzlers’ for the first time this year, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Purchases of vehicles in the £300-a-year top road tax band fell by 15% last year to the lowest level on record, while sales of low-emission cars in bands A and B, which are either zero-rated for road tax or pay £35, rose by 17%.

The SMMT predicts that sales of high-emission cars will continue to fall sharply.