Money Wellness
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category iconMoney Saver
calendar icon13 Mar 2024

How to beat the April price hikes

April is a dreaded month for price hikes for public and utility services.

 Even though April’s energy price cap will see bills cut by £200, there are other costs that will squeeze your purses.

 What prices are increasing?

 Council tax 

Councils have the freedom to raise tax by 3% — plus another 2% for social care, yearly. It means band D could rise from an average of £2,065 to as much as £2,168  a year, which is £103 more.

You might be eligible for a discount. If you live alone, you can get the single person discount of 25%. Some people are also "disregarded" when you’re calculating how many people are in the house. This includes under 18s and students, so check you’re not paying for anyone you shouldn’t.

You may also get a discount if you’re on low income, have a disability or ‘severe mental impairment’, usually dementia or a bad stroke, or you’re a carer. Find out if you’re eligible.

Check you’re paying for the right band.

Stamp duty

The price of stamps is set to rise from April again, but if you buy your stamps now they’ll still be valid after the price rise. Stock up while you can.

Water bills 

Water bills are set to rise by  6% in England and Wales, up £27 and 8.8%, up £36, in Scotland.

If you need to keep costs down, a water meter could be helpful if you have more bedrooms than people in your home- that way you’d only be paying for the water you use.

Find out how you can cut water bill costs.

Energy price cap

Find out if you can save money by staying on the cap, or switching energy supplier.

Broadband and  mobile

Broadband and mobile costs are set to rise up to 8.8%, but there may be ways you can cut costs.

If you’re on benefits, you might be able to get a social tariff. If your contract is about to end, you can leave without exit fees to find a cheaper deal elsewhere.

 Car tax

The standard car tax charge has risen with RPI of 10.1%, up from £165 to £180. 

You could be exempt if:

  • You drive an electric car (EV's are set to be taxed from 2025).
  • You have a Low CO2 car, which means cars first registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 March 2017 that produce less than 100 grams per kilometre of CO2 are exempt from road tax. Hybrids registered from these dates emitting under 100g/km of CO2 are also road-tax exempt.
  • You have a disability, and you're on benefits. 
  • If your car is more than 40 years old.
  • If you have a car but aren't planning to drive it for some time, you can make a statutory off road notification. You won’t be able to drive the car if you SORN it, but you won’t have to pay road tax on it, either.

 TV Licence 

The standard colour TV licence will rise to £169.50, up from £159 yearly.

Not everyone has to pay a TV licence fee. You're exempt if:

  • You are 75 or over and receive Pension Credit.
  • You're blind (severely sight impaired).
  • You  live in qualifying residential care and are disabled or over 60 and retired.
  • You have a business that provide units of overnight accommodation, for example, hotels and mobile units.

 

 

 

 

 

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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