SNP ministers racked up a record total of chauffeur-driven rides last year at a cost of £1.3m to taxpayers.

Despite Nicola Sturgeon declaring a “climate emergency” to reduce pollution, the Government Car Service completed 10,755 jobs in 2018/19.

It was the most since records began a decade ago and the greatest cost - a rise of 705 trips, or 7 per cent, and £145,733, or 12.3%, on the previous year.

With the SNP and Greens planning to introduce a workplace parking levy that could cost drivers £500 a year, the Tories accused ministers of “jaw-dropping hypocrisy”.

Tory MSP Miles Briggs, who uncovered the information through a parliamentary question, said: “In the same year the First Minister declared a climate emergency, they’ve increased their car usage. It’s one rule for the SNP Government and another for ordinary Scots.”

The Government Car Service uses 24 upmarket vehicles, half of them hybrids, to ferry ministers and law officers between their homes and work and between appointments.

The bill includes driver salaries, fuel, maintenance and hire costs.

The Government said it was always looking for ways to minimise car use for official trips, including car sharing, walking and public transport. However this were not always practical when ministers had to “carry out sensitive government business during their journey”.

“The Scottish Government is committed to reducing its carbon emissions and replacing fossil-fuelled vehicles with electric vehicles, where appropriate. In line with our procurement strategy, we regularly evaluate existing technologies to assess their operational suitability for future use within the Government Car Service and wider Scottish Government fleet.”

Hybrid vehicles account for 52% of the Government Car Service and 34% of the wider Scottish Government fleet.