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ImageWere you planning to get yourself a new car? Well, wait till April 1.

For, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has proposed a reduction in the customs duty on small and hybrid cars during his Budget speech in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Chidambaram has provided relief to auto manufacturers of hybrid cars by reducing the excise duty on them from 24 per cent to 14 per cent.

These cars are currently not on sale in India, and use a combination of electric motors with gasoline/diesel engines to enhance efficiency and reduce pollution.

Effective April 1, the move paves the way for manufacturers such as Honda Siel, Toyota India and Mahindra & Mahindra to immediately launch their vehicles that were on display at the Auto Expo in January.

These include the Honda Civic hybrid and the Mahindra Scorpio hybrid, while Toyota have displayed the technologies surrounding the Prius in past years.

Both the Prius and the Civic will enter through the import route, while the hybrid Scorpio will be developed and locally manufactured.

Image: The Budget 2008-2009 proposal makes Tata's small car Nano more affordable.