The oddly fascinating history of ‘road tax’ and the Road Fund

Winston Churchill 1925 opposition to 'road tax'

“There has been no direct relationship between vehicle tax and road expenditure since 1937.”
Policy and External Communications Directorate, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

“The hypothecation of vehicle excise duty was abolished in the 1930s, although the excise licence is still sometimes mistakenly referred to as a ‘road fund licence’.”
A brief history of registration, DVLA [PDF]

It’s often assumed that ‘road tax’ pays for Britain’s roads. In fact, it’s general and local taxation that pays for roads. Proceeds from Vehicle Excise Duty – a tax on vehicles, not a payment for use of roads – goes into the Consolidated Fund, the coffers of the Treasury. ‘Road tax’ – a ring-fenced pot of cash raised by motorists and to be spent on roads – was created in 1909, mortally wounded in 1926 by then Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill and no longer ring-fenced by 1937. Up until 1926, British roads had been – partially – repaired by the monies that accumulated from the tax on motoring. During the motorcar boom of 1896-1936, the British road network grew by just 4 percent, and the great majority of those new roads that were built were paid for not by motor taxation but from local authority funds.

The road tax pot was called the Road Fund. This was administered by a Road Board.

The Road Fund had been set up in the 1909/10 Finance Act, part of Lloyd George’s famous ‘People’s Budget’.

“The brunt of the expense at the beginning must be borne by motorists, and to do them justice they are willing, and even anxious, to subscribe handsomely towards such a purpose, so long as a guarantee is given in the method and control of the expenditure that the fund so raised will not merely be devoted exclusively to the improvement of the roads, but that they will be well and wisely spent for that end.”
Budget speech of then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lloyd George, April 1909

Lloyd George introduced a graduated tax on cars, based on their horsepower, and a tax on imported oil. Motorists had to pay an annual amount into the Road Fund. Lloyd George gave a pledge to motorists: the Road Fund money would be ring-fenced, to be spent only on road maintenance projects. This ring-fencing was deeply opposed by the Treasury and by Customs & Excise. A Customs official wrote in 1909: “The plan of ear-marking special taxes for special purposes is open to serious objection.”

Ring-fencing of taxes was heretical then, and it’s still heretical now (the TV licence fee, ring-fenced to pay for the BBC, is the exception that breaks the rule).

However, Lloyd George ignored his officials:

“I want to make it clear…that expenditure undertaken out of the fund must be directly referable to work done in connection with the exigencies of the motor traffic of the country.”

The Road Board, created by the Development and Road Improvements Bill, published in August 1909, gave grants from the fund to local authorities to repair roads damaged by motorists. Even in the early days of motoring, roads were mostly paid for by general and local taxation. Paying Road Fund dues was never a fee for using a road, it was a fee to be paid out to local authorities for the damage done to roads by motorists. A Customs memo of 1908 said the “increased taxation of motors…” would “aid in restoring local roads damaged by motors licensed in other areas.”

finance act 1910

Lloyd George said the Road Fund’s “first charge” was for improvements after damage done by cars; “power to build new roads” was only secondary.

William Plowden, in his 1971 book ‘The Motor Car and Politics, 1896-1970′ said:

“What was striking about the Road Fund was not its failure, but – given the heretical principles on which it was based – its survival: into the mid-1930s in practice, into the mid-1950s in form, and into the present day as a weapon of political argument.”

No new roads were ever built by the Board, and it sponsored few major improvements; much the largest part of its grants (over 90 percent in all) went towards small scale improvements in road surfaces. In 1919 the Ministry of Transport was created with a Roads Department. The Road Board became superfluous and was disbanded. The Road Fund continued to exist, but not for much longer.

'Road tax' expenditure table 1910-30

The Treasury, never happy with the ring-fenced Road Fund, constantly plotted against it.

In 1921, the Treasury’s Sir Otto Niemeyer wrote a private memo to Sir Robert Horne, the then chancellor:

“The Chancellor will probably not wish to raise this controversy at the present moment, but at the same time he may think it well to give no further encouragement to the theory that motor taxes must be spent on roads.”

The Ministry of Transport was opposed to going back on Lloyd George’s 1909 pledge to motorists but the Chancellor saw the need for the pledge to be superseded at some point. To Niemeyer, Horne replied: “I am anxious that special emphasis should not be laid upon such a pledge at the present time. The financial future is so uncertain that it is impossible to say that no changes shall ever take place in the destination of the proceeds of motor taxation. If the need arises, some Chancellor of the Exchequer may some day be compelled to use some of the revenue from motor taxes for general purposes…”

By 1923, the Treasury’s opposition to ring-fencing of motor taxation came out into the open. A memo circulated to the Cabinet said: “It appears to the Treasury that the time has come when it is desirable to hold an enquiry to determine what should be the national policy in regard to the finance of road expenditure and motor car taxation…”

In the same memo, the Treasury heaped scorn on the principle behind the Road Fund, outlining the ludicrous situation the priniciple of ring-fencing extended to other sectors: “…e.g the taxes on drink, liquor, licences, etc., to bear the charges for police, prisons, and the administration of justice; the income tax the cost of defence; the death duties the debt charges and so forth – it is easy to imagine the confusion that would result…Some of the services charged on the funds would languish for insufficient funds, some would run riot with excessive sums at their disposal. In short before long the whole system would be reduced to chaos…”

The Treasury said the suggestion that Government had ever made a ring-fencing pledge, in perpetuity, to motorists was a “preposterous claim” and that it was not right that “any set of taxpayers are entitled to make binding terms with Parliament as to the application of the taxes levied from them. The bargain, such as it was, was made during another Parliament and with another government; and there can be no question that Parliament has full power to alter the rates of motor taxation and the application of the proceeds without the consent of the motor users.”

By 1925, the Treasury was preparing the way for scrapping ring-fencing. Sir George Barstow, Controller of Supply Services, said it was not possible “to maintain that the action of the government, three Parliaments ago, stopped all governments for all time from imposing taxation on the owners of motor cars for purposes other than paying for roads and bridges. Motor taxation was in no sense voluntary. It was imposed by Statute; and what Parliament had done, Parliament could undo.”

In minute to his officials in November 1925, the then Chancellor Winston Churchill said:

“Entertainments may be taxed; public houses may be taxed; racehorses may be taxed…and the yield devoted to the general revenue. But motorists are to be privileged for all time to have the whole yield of the tax on motors devoted to roads. Obviously this is all nonsense…Such contentions are absurd, and constitute…an outrage upon the sovereignty of Parliament and upon common sense.”

Churchill wanted to end the Road Fund’s ring-fencing once and for all.

To a deputation of rural interests, he said his proposed abolition of the Road Fund was not anti-motorist: “Let me say clearly, I have an expensive motor car, and use it a great deal, and I have nothing personal in my argument – I am speaking from a detached point of view.”

Closing the Road Fund would have met opposition from the Ministry of Transport; diverting cash from the fund less so.

Churchill and his Treasury mandarins felt they were entitled to take £7m from the Road Fund because the Treasury had given the Road Fund a grant of £8.25m in 1919.

A ‘raid on the Road Fund’ was feared by motoring organisations but they could do little to stop it. In 1927, Churchill made the first of his two ‘raids’ on the Road Fund. His budget of that year was the beginning of the end for the Road Fund. The whole of the Road Fund’s £12m was absorbed into national coffers (it took until 1937 for the Road Fund to be emptied; it limped on, in name only, until the 1950s).

Churchill’s opposition to the Road Fund was largely financial but not exclusively so. Fearing motorists would lay claim to roads by dint of paying for a small portion of their repair, he wrote:

“It will be only a step from this for [motorists] to claim in a few years the moral ownership of the roads their contributions have created.”

In a note to Churchill by the man who had pushed Lloyd George to make the ring-fencing pledge to motorists in the first place, Austen Chamberlain wrote:

“I certainly never imagined such a statement could be construed by any sensible man as binding on Governments or Parliament with no regard to time or circumstances.”

In 1927, the Treasury noted that the main supporters of the Road Fund were private motoring organisations who wanted road improvements not for the good of the country but to drive faster: “it is clearly absurd that the State should be asked to provide large and ever-increasing sums for what are virtually pleasure racing tracks.”

Belief in the continued existence of ‘road tax’ was heavily engrained at the highest levels. Conservative MP Colonel JTC Moore Brabazon, Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Transport in 1923-7, and even Minister for Transport in 1940-1, said in a 1932 speech in the House of Commons, that money that went to the Road Fund was

“motorists’ money. It is not Imperial taxation. It is money that comes from the motorists, to be spent on one definite thing, namely the roads.”

In this view he was wrong, and it’s a mistake made down to the present day.

The UK’s inter-war road building programme was not paid for by motorists alone. In 1929 the Government authorised a £28m programme for an extension of the trunk roads programme and £27.5m five-year programme for classified roads. New build roads were paid for by general taxation, not from ‘road tax’.

The 1930 Royal Commission on Transport report on road transport reported that two-thirds of the maintenance cost of roads – despite the existence of the Road Fund – was met by general and local taxation.

The Salter Report of 1932 recognised that motorised road vehicles were guilty of “using the common highway for private profit, while endangering public safety, amenity, and capital.”

In May 1936, Austen Chamberlain the told the House of Commons that the Road Fund would be wound-up the following year and absorbed by the Ministry of Transport. The Road Fund, raided by Churchill in 1926, halting it in all but name, was therefore defunct from 1937 onwards.

Now, we have Graduated Vehicle Excise Duty, a tax on motorised emissions. In fact, this is similar to when car tax discs were introduced in 1921: cars with greater horsepower paid more.

Then as now, road are darn expensive to build and maintain: motorists have never paid the full costs of the tarmac they drive on. Motorists have always been subsidised to drive.


And motorists, from almost the first days of motoring, have believed the roads belonged to them.

By 1907, two years before the creation of the Road Fund, motorists had forgotten about the debt they owed to prehistoric track builders, the Romans, turnpike trusts and bicyclists (the Cyclists’ Touring Club and National Cyclists’ Union had created the Roads Improvement Association in 1886). Before even one road had been built with motorcars in mind motorists assumed the mantle of overlords of the road.

A satirical verse in Punch magazine of 1907 summed up this attitude:

The roads were made for me; years ago they were made. Wise rulers saw me coming and made roads. Now that I am come they go on making roads – making them up. For I break things. Roads I break and Rules of the Road. Statutory limits were made for me. I break them. I break the dull silence of the country. Sometimes I break down, and thousands flock round me, so that I dislocate the traffic. But I am the Traffic.


Forty years later, J.S. Dean, the journalist and head of the Pedestrians’ Association, wrote ‘Murder Most Foul’, a polemic calling for an end to “road slaughter” and an end to the motorists’ view that highways were made for their exclusive use.

“The private driver is… most strongly influenced by the sense of ownership of his car, and, as he often believes, of the road as well. It is “his” car to do with as he pleases, and, as he often believes, it is “his” road too, and the other road-users are merely intruders who are there at their own peril.

This belief (it is of interest to note) has its origin in the vicious and anti-social proposition, embodied for a time in the Road Fund and since sustained by the motor and road propagandists, that the motorists have a right to demand that the motor taxes should be devoted exclusively to the construction and “improvement” of roads, i.e. as experience has shown, to the construction and “improvement” of roads with special or exclusive reference to the convenience of the drivers and with a general disregard of the convenience and safety of the other road-users. Of course, one might as well say that the drink taxes ought to be devoted to the construction and improvement of public houses or the duties on cosmetics to the establishment of beauty parlours.

From 1923 to 1938 the road tax disc security background text read ROAD FUND LICENCE. in 1939 the tiny text switched to MECHANICALLY PROPELLED VEHICLE LICENCE.

Even though the Road Fund was no more by 1937, motor vehicle log-books continued to use the term. The RF60 log-books were issued by local authorities, some of which used the designation VE60, for vehicle excise. RF60 and VE60 log-books were finally phased out in 1977 when the newly-created DVLA took over the registration of vehicles.

ChapelHouse road fund licence

Many motorists and motoring organisations still use the antique terms Road Fund and Road Fund Licence. This is wrong, a point stressed by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs:

“It is still common to hear the ‘tax disc’ referred to as the Road Fund Licence, an expression that dates from the time that vehicle tax was collected by local authorities and linked directly to road building and maintenance. The direct link between vehicle taxation and road construction (and hence the ‘road fund’) ended in 1937. Nowadays, the correct name for the amount payable for a tax disc is Vehicle Excise Duty.”

VED too obscure? Use ‘car tax’. This is both accurate and intelligible to all. ‘Road tax’ carries with it the whiff of ‘road ownership’ and, over the years, has caused unnecessary conflict between road users, all of whom have equal rights to use of roads. In short, motorists do not pay for roads, we all do.

+++++++++ is an ironically-named campaign supporting the road rights of cyclists. The message that cyclists have equal rights on the roads is carried on iPayRoadTax t-shirts and jerseys.

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  • jamesdevine

    Why do people have to pay road tax and there roads are never looked after and NEVER salted in the winter time and this road is used by SELB buses and ULSTER buses to take kids and adults to and from schools and collages…So where is the justice there when it comes to looking after our ROADS…

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  • carltonreid

    Cyclists are treated differently in Copenhagen. Salting of bike paths standard:

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  • Stuart

    Wonderful holidays could be had via public transport (e.g. trains), given a bit of investment.
    That business radius wouldn't shrink a bit given decent investment in public transport; on top of which, you might happily see it (physically) shrink given higher population density: automobile culture encourages sprawl.
    About that “cheaper,” shipped food — is it really cheaper? It's hard to tell when the transport of it is subsidized, and, thus, not all of the cost is reflected in the price. Certainly, lorries are useful for local distribution of goods — that sounds like a good use of the roads. Perhaps we should try to reduce commuter congestion so the lorries can get around more efficiently.
    But, more generally, I do agree with you that we should look carefully for every consequence and account for each.

  • Stuart

    Wonderful holidays could be had via public transport (e.g. trains), given a bit of investment.nThat business radius wouldn’t shrink a bit given decent investment in public transport; on top of which, you might happily see it (physically) shrink given higher population density: automobile culture encourages sprawl. nAbout that “cheaper,” shipped food — is it really cheaper? It’s hard to tell when the transport of it is subsidized, and, thus, not all of the cost is reflected in the price. Certainly, lorries are useful for local distribution of goods — that sounds like a good use of the roads. Perhaps we should try to reduce commuter congestion so the lorries can get around more efficiently.nBut, more generally, I do agree with you that we should look carefully for every consequence and account for each.

  • carltonreid

    Car culture has been given free rein in the UK, and look at the mess we're in. It was reined back in the Netherlands – at least in part – and consequently a nicer place to get about without having to rely on the car.

  • carltonreid

    Car culture has been given free rein in the UK, and look at the mess we’re in. It was reined back in the Netherlands – at least in part – and consequently a nicer place to get about without having to rely on the car.

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  • rjc1008

    Not too long ago the then Tory government started increasing fuel tax. One of the things I remember being discussed back then was that the money would go towards improving public transport. We’ve not seen the improvement in public transport. It seems from this that the idea of a ring fenced tax is a problem, but this does seem a promise that was not delivered.

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  • Dan

    just to be clear. the table in the middle (1910 – 30) appears to miss the oil import duties paid by motorists.nnit’s fine to try to make an argument, but missing out half the facts makes the argument just as weak as saying VED is road tax, (instead of car tax) as I’ve always known it anyway.

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  • Roger

    If you own a mechanically propelled vehicle, there is an alternative to paying your VED when it comes due: you can lay the vehicle up and sign the Statutory Off Road Notification stating that you do not wish to tax the vehicle and that said vehicle will be kept off the road. Car drivers are reminded of this option every time their VED is due: pay the tax and use the car on the road, or don’t pay the tax and inform the DVLA with a signed SORN, and keep the vehicle off the road. Given this regular reminder that you only have to tax your vehicle if you wish to use it on the road, is it any surprise that motorists still believe they are paying Road Tax? Or am I missing something? Great website by the way.

  • carltonreid

    Thanks.rnrnBut, yes, you’re missing something. The SORN thing is used by some motorists to throw a spoke in the wheel of the ‘road tax doesn’t exist argument’. However, car tax is not a fee to use roads and this can be proved so:rnrnIf you live in France but bought your car in the UK, where it was registered, you still have to pay UK car tax even if you France-domiciled car never ever drives on UK roads.

  • Roger

    Thanks for an interesting point of law probably unknown and lost on most UK vehicle owners.nI’ll run your proof past the next van-man or BMW driver who comes close to killing me on my bike, after he’s used the well reasoned argument for his behaviour: “I pay road tax, you don’t, get off my road”. I may have to edit his reply somewhat before posting it, to comply with any bad language policy this site may have in force!nEvery six or twelve months drivers are given an alternative to paying VED, namely a SORN form, posted through their letter boxes as part of their VED reminder. Many tens of millions of these forms are posted every year to the homes of UK citizens. The cumulative effect of all of these forms, must over time, alter drivers perception as to what they are actually paying for. If the DVLA keeps telling drivers to cough up or get their vehicles off the road, drivers may very well start to believe that they are paying a tax to use their vehicles on the road. A road Tax. Therefore attempting to tell drivers that they are not paying a Road Tax is always going to be a tough sell; 1937 was simply ages ago, and for many the message isn’t getting through, so something needs to change somewhere, and at the very minimum the DVLA aren’t helping with their VED and SORN terminology. CTC member, all weather cycle commuter and club racer.n

  • carltonreid

    True.rnrnPost Office calls it car tax, and nobody seems confused.rnrnI agree about the bad language etc, hence the reason for the site.

  • French ex-pat

    carltonreid wrote:nn”If you live in France but bought your car in the UK, where it was registered, you still have to pay UK car tax even if you France-domiciled car never ever drives on UK roads.”nnIs that really so? I live in a part of France that hosts many Brit ex-pats and every other UK plated car I see has no valid UK VED disc, nor a French insurance ticket or a Control Technique sticker. This suggests that these cars cannot be legally on the road, either in the UK or France. In any case someone who is normally resident in France and who imports a car from another country is required by law to register their car with local French plates within 3 months. I did this but in over 5 years have never seen another right-hand drive car that had French plates, apart from my own. nnTalking to some other Brits (I try to avoid them to be honest: it’s no coincidence that the only British newspaper commonly carried by local shops is The Daily Mail…) it is clear that this failure on the part of Brits to register their cars is quite deliberate. Not only does it avoid the associated costs, it means that the police cannot trace them when they are ‘flashed’ for speeding.

  • carltonreid

    Yup. Rules aren’t always obeyed, but from a UK point of view, the rule I referenced is current. rnrnThanks, Howard.

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  • Paulcartlidge

    So, when is somebody going to work out how much repair and upkeep of the roads is in this country and then compare that to how much revenue is raised each year through Road Tax (I’m calling it that because that’s what it is. You can’t park or travel on a road without it after all) ? I understand less thhan half of what is raised is spent on the roads so in effect all those who pay it are being fleeced. Any chance you could come up with some figures ?

  • carltonreid

    PaulnnThere is no ‘road tax’; hasn’t been since 1937. This article explains more about the rules & regs of road use & payments: who believe VED is fee to use roads sometimes use the seemingly-convincing u2018off-roadu2019 argument:nnu201cDoesnu2019t matter what you call it, VED/car tax/u2019road taxu2019, itu2019s a fee to use the public road because if you donu2019t pay it, you canu2019t drive on the public road. For instance, if I elect to use a vehicle off-road, I donu2019t need to pay VED. If I then choose to use the vehicle on a road, I would have to pay VED. If the vehicle emitted a certain amount of CO2, then yes that VED is currently free, but I would still have to get and display a tax disc in order to use the car on the road.u201dnnBut car tax isnu2019t a fee to use the road, itu2019s very much a tax on car emissions. Many cars, which use the public road, do not pay any u2018car taxu2019 because they emit less than 100gms of CO2. If car tax was a fee to use roads, electric cars and low-emissions cars wouldnu2019t be able to drive on UK roads…nn…If a car is registered in the UK but is never driven in the UK it still has to pay the UKu2019s Vehicle Excise Duty. So, a UK-bought car driven in France by a UK-born person whou2019s moved to France permanently, may never drive on UK roads but the car still has to pay VED. This is because itu2019s a tax on the car, not a fee to use the roads. nn——nnThe money-paid-in-road-tax-doesn’t-go-to-roads argument is a non-starter, as explained here: are no tax opt-outsnThe argument about the Government raising u00a347 billion but returning u201cless than one fifth of this in spending which directly benefits the road useru201d is a weak one and motoring organisations do themselves no favours by wheeling out such an argument. In fact, they have been doing so from the earliest days of motoring but it doesnu2019t wash with Governments. Revenue ring-fencing is something vehemently opposed by Governments down the ages, and for very good reasons.nnMotoring organisations would be better off arguing about the many benefits of mass car ownership; the u2018we pay squillions, so ought to get squillions backu2019 case is easily swatted away, behind the scenes, by Treasury mandarins.nnThe money paid by motorists does not have to go back to motorists. If it did, all hell would break loose. Interest groups of all creeds and colours would start demanding u201ctheiru201d tax contributions should only go to fund u201ctheiru201d projects. Society does not work that way; cannot work that way.nnThere are no taxation opt-outs: married couples without kids cannot strike out the amount of tax that pays for schools; pacifists cannot strike out the amount of tax that goes on defence spending. And motorists canu2019t successfully demand that the money they give to the Government is given straight back to them in the shape of smoother, less congested roads.nnSmoother, less congested roads would be wonderful for all road users, not just motorists, and such infrastructure u2013 a shared national resource u2013 is paid for by all taxpayers, not just motorists. The public highway is, by definition, for the benefit of the public, not a sub-set of the public.

  • Mr B J Mann

    Just a minute, roads aren’t for cars, you argue.nu00a0nRoads are for everyone equally you claim.nu00a0nBut motorists are charged nearly u00a350 BILLION pa in EXTRA ADDITIONAL Road RELATED Tax ON TOP of their ordinary citizens taxes:nu00a0nu00a350 BILLION that cyclists, pedestrians, bus passengers, tram riders, horse riders, etc, don’t pay.nu00a0nu00a350 BILLION that the baby home delivered by a midwife doesn’t pay.nu00a0nu00a350 BILLION that the corpse doesn’t pay.nu00a0nu00a350 BILLION that people who receive letters don’t pay.nnEtc, etc, etc.nnu00a350 BILLION that EVERYBODY who benefits from the road doesn’t pay.nu00a0u00a0nAnd in your clever little table above, you list ONE tax motorists pay.nnWhich you say ISN’T for use of the roads.nu00a0nThen you compare what is spent on the roads for EVERYONE to use.nu00a0nAnd have the audacity to say that because ONE of the taxes that motorists pay doesn’t cover the ENTIRE expenditure on roads, the difference is a SUBSIDY to MOTORISTS!nu00a0nWhat, exactly, are you one: I want some!!!!!!

  • Mr B J Mann

    So, to summarise, motorists pay u00a350 BILLION pa in EXTRA ADDITIONAL Road RELATED Tax ON TOP of their ordinary citizens taxes.nnAny other road users pays NO road tax at all.nnExpenditure on the roads (and most of that is things like traffic calming through to total road closures) is a fraction of that u00a350 BILLION, but that’s irrelevant..nnBecause regardless of whether it’s a Road Fund Tax, Road Taxes, or Road Related Taxes, or Whatever, it’s not spent on the roads:nnThe government spends everyone’s money on the roads for everyone.nnBut it only charges motorists for the privilege of using them.nnu00a350 BILLION pa.nnSo, it’s simple, isn’t it:nnRegardless of where the money goes, or what it’s called:nnMotorists subsidise everyone to the tune of u00a350 BILLION pa!

  • Paul Harris

    You might want to read some more of the site, particularlyu00a0 where it’s pointed out that the total costs of motoring exceed the taxes on motorists by many billions of pounds. u00a0Personally while I don’t think there is such a thing as ‘road tax’, I’d be delighted if there was, so long as it paid for *all* the costs motorists create.

  • Hypester

    very interesting, but at the end of the day unless we are using our vehicles in commerce (ie. making money from the journey) then we have free movement of all highways in uk and any commonwealth country, as clearly stated in the magna carta 1215, it states you will never be TAX, LICENSED OR CHARGED to move through the common land, want to find out more join for free at basically peoples, if you dont know your rights, THEN YOU DON’T HAVE ANY, so expect to be robbed blind at every turn by governments.

  • Paul Harris

    It would be interesting to see a proper reference to back your claim – I just took a quick look at the translated text and can find no mention of what you say.nnAside from that, you’re not being charged to move through the common land, you’re being charged for the ownership of a car.

  • carltonreid

    Only three clauses still in use today, and none to do with highways:nn

  • GrahamS

    As far as I can tell, VED raises around u00a35.7 billion pa, NOT 50 BILLION.nThe DVLA Annual Report and Accounts states “VED receipts in 2010-11 amounted to u00a35,782 million”: the HMRC figures show that Tobacco and Alcohol tax receipts were u00a317,776 million:, plus another few billion for the VAT on booze and fags of course.nnSo alcoholic smokers subsidise everyone to the tune of over u00a320 BILLION pa!nnNon-smokers and tee-totallers should not be allowed on our roads!nIf you want to drive then pick up 20 Marlboro and bottle of Johnnie Walker and pay your way. ;)

  • Alex

    any form of taxation is tirany, so…as we cannot erase them for once, we need to erase slowly, tv licence and road tax should be the first ones. Government is like a puppy, after you feed them, they become a dragon…..government should be limited as minimum as possible, otherwise we will still living is the pseudo democratic country.

  • carltonreid

    Taxation pays for stuff we all need, including mental health services (which, in the UK, even no-state libertarians get for free).