"Road Tax" - go on enlighten me

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by the reluctant cyclist, 29 Aug 2007.

  1. the reluctant cyclist

    the reluctant cyclist Über Member

    I've put this in commuting becuase it is something that I get thrown at me a lot as I am commuting and I know others do too - you know the usual "get off the road, you don't pay any tax" etc etc.

    I often see threads about road tax and whether the average motorist does actually pay to be on the road or not and I am still unclear.

    I presume that you must pay the tax for being on the road in some way as you can't park your car on the road (legally) without it can you?

    I've heard rumours that the road maintenance is taken from the money we pay in Council Tax but I'm still a little unsure about this.

    When I tax my car every six months, what exactly am I paying for and why does it wind motorists up so much (my own father included I am sad to say) that we don't have to pay it to cycle on the road?
  2. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    I'll let the more pedantic explain how it's VED and not road tax, but for the record, most cyclists I know have a car aswell, so are paying........
  3. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    *pedant mode on* ;)

    Altogether now: THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS ROAD TAX!

    *pedant mode off* :sad:

    Really - there's no such tax. Roads are paid for out of general taxation, so those who don't have a car pay for the roads too... There is no tax or duty that is ring-fenced to pay for roads.

    The OP refers to Vehicle Excise Duty, which is a tax on a motor vehicle, not on the road, and is variable according to the amount of emissions the vehicle produces. Indeed it's possible to own a vehicle and *not* pay VED - if the vehicle produces emissions below a certain level or if it's a car manufactured before a certain date.

    I own a car and I've never paid 'road tax'.
  4. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    As I understand it, 'Road Tax' which is in fact Vehicle Excise Duty, is the tax you pay to own a car and use it/park it on the public road. If you declare your car off road (EG a car registered but undergoing a restoration), the fee goes down to nothing, but you still have to declare that you own it...

    The money for the maintenance of the roads comes out of local authority budgets and the general taxation fund, depending, I think, on what sort of road it is (local urban roads, or trunk roads/motorways). Vehicle Excise Duty goes into the general tax pot, but is not reserved (hypothicated?) for the sole use of road building/repair (I believe it wouldn't go anywhere near covering it anyway). So VED also pays for the armed forces, hospitals, education and all the other stuff taxes pay for, and all other taxes also pay for the roads.

    So if you pay council tax, or VED, or VAT (on most things you buy except food, some other essentials and childrens clothes?), or income tax, you are paying for the roads.

    As a non-car owning student, I'm currently paying just the VAT...;) But as ZZ says, most cyclists also have a car, and an income, so they pay just as much as anyone else...
  5. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    Wafflycat beat me to it... I waffle too much!
  6. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    When you pay VED (no such thing as road tax) the money goes into the general coffers that the government have to spend. Therefore, by paying VED you pay for the right to have your car on the road. Nothing more. Roads are also paid for out of general taxation (which cyclists generally contribute to as well!!) So the whole 'road tax' argument is a red herring.

    Also consider, how much damage does a cyclist do to the roads, compared to a 1 tonne plus car.

    So the facts are we all pay taxes which cover the costs of road building repairs, and yet cars, vans, lorries etc do far more damage to the roads. Therefore we should be complaining about them!;)
  7. col

    col Veteran

    It is puzzling for me too,but without facts,im guessing that as we walk on the paths which our rates pay for ,i guess,im thinking its similar for roads,we all pay for them anyway.Again im not sure at all,but when we pay the tax on our cars,its just that,a tax the government charge us to use a car.when i passed my pcv,we were told that everyone has a right to be on the roads,but vehicles pay for the privalige,so reasoning that we all have the right,im thinking that we all must pay towards them in other ways.If you see what i mean,;)

    It took me that long to do this that i was beaten to it:laugh:
  8. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    This could also lead to the idea that pedestrians, and to a lesser degree cyclists, all have more right to use the roads than motor vehicles and their drivers. After all, both the motor vehicle and the driver have to be licensed, and that license (i.e. priviledge) to use the road can be taken away.
  9. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK

    I'd see it as: While a driver and car are correctly licensed, they have equal right to use the road as a cyclist or pedestrian. Ok, if they lose or don't acquire the correct licence, they lose the right, but I don't think it means that cyclists and peds have MORE right, it's just not possible to lose that right...

    Of course, I'd LIKE it if 'we' had more right to the roads,;) but I don't see it that way as the system currently stands...
  10. LLB

    LLB Guest

    The most polluting and also the least polluting do not pay VED (IE: cars made before 1973, and the so called 'zero' emission vehicles like the Toyota Prius.

    VED has little to do with how much a vehicle pollutes, but how much can be extracted from the greater part of the population.

    There are many instances where a vehicle is a heavy polluter, but pays a pittance in tax.

    Add to this, There are also an estimated 3 million poles living in the UK now.

    If only 1 in 10 has a car, then that is still a substantial amount of modern cars in the UK which are not paying VED. I think the next car I buy will be polish ;) . There are thousands of foreign registered cars in my town alone.
  11. Don't worry about it, just tell them to mind there own f**king business and concentrate on driving.

    Don't you find that the people who actually go to the bother of telling you how much you are holding them up, are in fact, holding themselves up even longer by slowing down/stopping to tell you how much you are holding them up!!
  12. Road Fiddler

    Road Fiddler New Member

    I read somewhere that if cyclists had to pay for wear and tear of the road it would work out at around 2p a year that would also include the VAT.

    I have also read that the average life of a bike in the UK is 3 years before being replaced (which considering most bikes sold are kids bikes then this is probably quite accurate). Most bikes sold in the UK have a 14% import duty and VAT added to the price so the government is actually making far more than 2p a year from us.
  13. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman New Member

    As I understand it the cash we pay for the little disc is for the licence for a particular vehicle to use the road system, and the money goes to central government along with a lot of other cash from other sources, including a proportion of council tax. Central gov. then dole cash out to various authoroties to pay (either partly or in full) for all sorts of stuff (hospitals, roads etc.). Owners of vehicles over a certain age, or newer vehicles below a particular rating (something to to with low emmissions?) are not required to pay to use the road system (but still have to show a licence disc).
    The other regular argument is about insurance (particularly third party). All non-human powered (forget about electric-assist bikes and electric buggies for now) are required by law to be covered by at least third party insurance, and a lot (if not most) motorists seem to get upset at the fact that cyclists are under no such specific legal duty to have the same cover (though members of CTC (and other organisations) do have such cover (I have seen it stated that some houshold insurance policies also give third party cover). I'm not an 'expert' on these matters, but I do spend a bit of time on uk.transport and uk.rec cycling ... ;)
  14. col

    col Veteran

    So we are actually paying more relative to the value of the bike,than cars?
    ie,, A £1000 bike with a cost of £140 duty,thats what some cars pay yearly,and they cost five or ten times what ours cost?;)
  15. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Most of the cars I see on the road are more than 5-10 times the cost of a £1000 bike.

    Arch, yes, I see it as an equal right too, pity many drivers don't. To be pedantic though, peds and cyclists have a less limited right to use the public highway than drivers do. Isn't that the same as more?
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