The Lithuanian Cabinet approved on Wednesday a new tax aimed at encouraging people to buy less polluting cars and facilitating the renewal of the country's ageing vehicle fleet, Environment Minister Kęstutis Mažeika said.
The absence of tax on cars is the key reason why the vehicles in Lithuania are old, according to the minister.
"Major restrictions, particularly on diesel-fueled [cars], will be put in place in major cities, capitals, starting 2030," Mažeika said. "The absence of any tax has led to our fleet being older and having higher pollution rates."
"This step is necessary because even stricter decisions will have to made in the future if we fail to take any decision today," he added.
The minister told LRT TV that he has checked used car listings himself, and "you can buy a car [made after] 2013 from 3,000 euros, which I think is reasonably affordable".
However, the tax will only push the price of less polluting cars up, making them even more unaffordable, according to the people LRT TV interviewed on the streets.
If endorsed by the parliament, the new tax will be introduced next year. A levy ranging from several tens of euros to 1,400 euros per car will be charged every time a car is registered or reregistered.