Earlier this week, Quebec’s government surprised us by lowering the price of renewing our driver’s license: starting next year, we will pay around $65 less for the privilege of driving on our well-maintained roads.
However, before running to the nearest shop to spend those saved dollars, you would be well-advised to read this: if you own a car, you will pay more, once again.
The Couillard administration just announced new measures that will be applied in an effort to balance the budget for 2015-2016. Everybody will be impacted, but car owners will take the brunt of the assault: not only will we pay another 2 cents per litre of fuel in added taxes, we will also face a $20 increase in insurance rates, since the government decided to stop offering reduced tax rates for insurance. This will net them a $133,000,000 profit.
Another tax will also be added to vehicles with big engines: if you own a car (or a truck) with a displacement of more than four litres, expect to pay more: for example, a 5.0-litre mill will now cost you $155 (an increase of $14 versus last year) more to register than a 3.9-litre powerplant.
And finally, our dear government also tries to dissuade us of buying a larger engine: starting in January 2015, all vehicles with a mill displacing between 4.0 and 4.9 litres will have to pay a 50-dollars charge. If you buy a car ranging from 5.0 to 5.9 litres, that tax jumps up to $100. And if you have the nerves to need a 6.0-litre or larger engine (To tow? Shame on you!), the government will punish you with a $200 fine. These fees will be collected once, when you buy the vehicle, not annually.
Is there a solution? Yes. Get a turbocharged engine if you need to tow or transport heavy loads. They don’t drink less fuel and they pollute just as much, but if the number under Displacement on your spec sheet is small enough, Couillard will be happy.