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The country’s biggest seller of hybrids is to absorb the loss of a €1,500 tax rebate on most of its petrol-electric models.

New emissions parameters following the Budget mean large numbers of hybrids are excluded from the tax benefit in what is a price-sensitive arena.

That immediately raised the prospect of buyers having to pay more for their new hybrid.

Toyota is by far the biggest seller of hybrids, with more buyers set to be affected by the Government’s decision.

But it is understood Toyota Ireland held discussions with European headquarters and it was decided to absorb the loss of the rebate – at least for the time being and for most of its models (some qualify for the €1,500 as they meet Budget emission levels anyway).

The new NOx surcharge is also being absorbed: charges would be relatively small as hybrids emit low amounts.

While the company declined to comment publicly on the matter, it is understood the decision to absorb the Budget ‘hit’ has been communicated to dealers.

There will be some price increases but, I understand, they will only arise as a result of better specification.

An example given to ‘Motors’ was the Corolla hatchback Luna Sport grade.

It goes up by €215 because of the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

To qualify for the €1,500 from January 1, hybrids must emit under 80g of CO2 per kilometre.

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