HK widens electric car scheme after just 268 motorists trade in old vehicle for HK$250,000 tax break

29-Jan-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Securing a tax break by trading in a petrol car for an electric model just got easier after the Hong Kong government said on Monday it had relaxed the eligibility criteria.

Electric car buyers enjoy a tax concession worth HK$250,000 (US$32,000) if they trade in a fossil-fuel-powered car. But there are two conditions: the applicant must have owned the vehicle for three consecutive years, and the car must be at least six years old and have been licensed for 20 months.

However, the Transport Department on Monday said the ownership period had been cut to 18 months and the licensed period slashed to 10 months. The new conditions take effect immediately.

The change comes after only 268 applications for the scheme were approved between March and November last year.

As of October there were 10,940 electric vehicles registered in Hong Kong.

A spokesman said the department had decided to make the amendments after studying public opinion.

Officials had previously defended the strict criteria as a way to stop opportunistic buyers snapping up cheap vehicles and then immediately disposing of them to enjoy the tax break.

The HK$250,000 concession is handed out in the form of a discount on the first registration tax for electric private cars valued at HK$377,500 or less. Four out of six carmakers sell electric vehicles in that price range, according to government sources.

The trade-in scheme was launched in February last year and will be effective until March 31, 2021.

Electric car buyers who do not wish to take part will still enjoy a tax break, but much smaller, at HK$97,500.


Category: Hong Kong

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