Dear iPhone app downloaders…

IPayRoadTax.com Zero BED

Thanks ever so much for downloading the iPhone app. It’s version 1.0. I’m working on fixes for some of the little niggles (you know, such as partial articles showing, not full ones. It’s a shame the full articles have to be viewed in-browser, but at least this site has a mobile-friendly format).

In the meantime, do you like the new, £0.00 tax disc? It’s says the owner pays not VED but BED: Bicycle Excise Duty. Watch out for some products emblazoned with this new logo.

VED & kit FAQs

IPayRoadTax.com Zero BED

Shouldn’t it be iPayVED.com?
Yes. But too few people know what VED is. Everybody knows what road tax is. Or they think they do. ‘Road’ tax really ought to be known as ‘car’ tax or, more accurately, ‘vehicle’ tax (er, except that a bicycle is a vehicle in law…and bikes don’t pay VED).

As a bicycle is a low emissions vehicle it should be in Band A. These cars pay nothing for their VED. But what’s BED?
Yes, if cyclists had to pay VED, their bicycles would not attract a fee, just as pre-1973 cars get their tax discs for free, as do low CO2 cars, such as the Toyota Pious. BED is Bicycle Excise Duty. Just like road tax, it doesn’t exist.

Why aren’t bicycles taxed?
Unlike cars, bicycles cause little damage to the road surface. Some cyclists ride on the pavement, illegally, but when doing so they cause no damage. Cars routinely park on pavements, blocking the way for pedestrians and damaging flag-stones. In fact, pavement parking is so endemic, few motorists give it a seconds thought. Not only do their cars have superior rights on roads, it seems, they want unfettered access to pavements, too.

Setting up a cyclist registration and taxation scheme would cost more than it raised, and for what? As bicycles have no tailpipe emissions (ahem, cyclists on the other hand..) and therefore don’t pollute, they would attract a duty of £0. Do motorists really want to pay extra VED to pay for the costs of printing and distributing free tax discs for bikes?

How do other European countries pay for roads?
Most European countries operate VED-style schemes.

German automotive expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer complains that such schemes don’t take actual road usage into account.

“You pay the same in taxes for a car that drives 100 kilometres per year as you do for the same car that drives 100,000 kilometres,” points out Dudenhoeffer.

Such unfairness is set to come to an end in the Netherlands, a ‘polluter-pays’ system is to be introduced. Motorists will pay according to distance driven. The reasoning is that it’s only fair that heavy users of the road (in both senses of the word) pay more than those who often leave the car at home. Congestion and the environment are both taken into consideration in the forthcoming scheme. Driving a 4×4 on a city road in rush hour will attract more of a charge than driving a 2CV out in the sticks. The system starts in 2011 for freight transport and will be expanded to include cars in 2012.

Drivers will be charged an average 3 Euro cents per kilometere. The tax will increase every year until 2018, when it will cost an average 6.7 cents per kilometere to drive in Holland. The rate can be adjusted if it fails to change driving habits in the country.

The Dutch Government believes its new tax would benefit 6 out of 10 drivers, with those driving the most and at peak hours bearing the greatest burden. Politicians are expecting the number of cars on the roads to decrease by 15 percent, as more people would switch to public transport and bicycles.

Will there be women-specific jerseys?
Yes. Mighty fine nice ones.

When will the jerseys and arm-warmers be available?
Third week of February. Pre-order from the iPayRoadTax shop.

Can I sign-up for email updates?
Sure you can. Simply pop your email addy into the form below and you’ll get sent info on the iPayRoadTax products as they become available.