Fees on high-emissions vehicles will make houses more expensive - Simon Bridges

National MP Simon Bridges has claimed hitting gas-guzzling vehicles with extra fees could drive house prices further.

The Government this week unveiled rebates for people buying newly imported electric and hybrid vehicles, while people buying new high-emission vehicles will be hit with fees. 

"My worry is actually poor families, tradies, farmers - there's no viable alternative," Bridges told The AM Show on Friday.

"So what are they going to do? They're just going to pay more tax. There's not actually anything they can do about it - they've still got to actually have a ute, they've got to have a van."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Cabinet considered an exemption for utes, but decided against it because many owners "are not using them for the legitimate use as those who work in the primary sector and the trades".

Bridges said it could make one of the biggest problems facing the country - the extreme cost of housing - even worse, by pushing up builders' costs. 

"It actually means the cost of houses go up, the cost of getting my deck done." 

House prices have gone up more than 20 percent in the past year, adding more than $150,000 to the cost of the average home. The maximum fee high-emission vehicles will face is $5875.

Labour MP David Parker, appearing with Bridges on The AM Show, said electric utes would be on the market "in a year or two", and not all currently available would be hit hard. 

"The Ford Ranger series have utes that are fuel-efficient enough to pay only a very low fee. Thirteen years ago the range of these things was 40km and they were tiny little bubble cars. Now they're big vehicles."

In 2020 there were 241,000 commercial and passenger vehicles registered, according to the Motor Industry Association - about half were new, half used. The rebates and fees only apply to newly imported vehicles, not those on the secondary market.