According to a recent official statement from the GST Council, it has been recommended that GST rates be reduced to 5 percent or nil for several items. One directive that stands out to Autonexa Auto readers is the GST tax rates currently imposed on SUVs. Current rates vary between 20 and 22 percent across the board and the criteria for classifying a vehicle as an SUV varies by state. The council headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has now decided on certain criteria on the basis of which a vehicle can be classified as an SUV and attract up to 20-22% GST.
Under the new criteria, a vehicle exceeding engine capacity of 1,500 cc, measures 4,000 mm in length and has more than 170 mm of ground clearance will be classified as an SUV. Taking into account the excise, VAT, road tax, motor vehicle tax and GST of 20-22%, the actual taxes on SUV vehicles hover around 50 percent. However, that will now change for buyers looking for smaller, more compact SUVs.
Based on the above criteria, popular compact SUV deals like the Hyundai Venue, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki Brezza and Mahindra XUV 300 can now be cheaper and attract a much lower GST rate of just 5 percent.
The Hyundai Venue is offered with petrol and diesel engine options, the diesel engine has a capacity of 1493cc and the two petrol options are 998cc and 1197cc respectively. The Venue has a maximum length of 3995mm and a ground clearance of 190-195mm. The Kia Sonet also has the same dimensions and has 1.0 and 1.2-litre petrol engine options.
Maruti Suzuki Brezza is another compact SUV that could now be even cheaper, it has a 1462cc petrol engine and is 3995mm long. However, the ground clearance is 200 mm.
Then there are the Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV 300 compact SUVs, and the Nexon has a 1497cc diesel engine and a 1199cc petrol engine. It has a length of 3,993 mm and a ground clearance of 209 mm. On the other hand, the XUV 300 is offered with a 1497cc diesel engine and a 1199cc gasoline engine. It has a length of 3995 mm and a ground clearance of 180 mm.
While these popular models adhere to most standards, the Mahindra XUV 300 ground clearance is closer to, but still exceeds, the specified 170mm limit. After the 48th GST Council meeting, it was announced that further clarification may lead to price changes for some models. However, the automakers are still looking into the matter.