Do low emission cars have less right to be on the road?

VED rates

Owners of those cars which emit the lowest amount of pollutants pay zilch for their ‘road tax’.

Those motorists who think ‘road tax’ still exists must be awfully confused by cars which pay £0 VED. Here’s a class of car which looks like any other class of car but which doesn’t ‘pay for the roads.’

How many motorists think Band A cars are freeloaders and should be banned from the roads they, apparently, don’t pay for? Probably none. Yet how many think cyclists are tax-dodgers, using roads paid for by motorists? Probably a lot.

This is why the term ‘road tax’ is so abhorrent. It’s used by such organisations as the AA when they know full well it’s Vehicle Excise Duty. But ‘road tax’ is the the commonly used term, they might argue. Yet there are lots of words and phrases that were commonly used in their day, but which grate on modern ears. There’s no need to use a term which is 74-years past its sell-by date when there’s a perfectly acceptable, readily understood alternative: car tax.

VED is a technical term, used mostly by those-in-the-know – such as HM Treasury and, er, the Association of British Drivers. Car tax is in common use: it’s how the Post Office describes the tax.

Post Office is right, it's car tax, not road tax!

“Should VED zero-rated vehicles be allowed on the roads that they don’t seem to pay for?”
Karl McCracken

“So if I go into the pub for a pint of beer, do I have a greater right to be there than the guy standing nearby drinking his Coca Cola? After all, I’m paying more tax on my ale, so he should stop freeloading on the warmth, toilets and music of the pub, no?”
Clive Andrews

“The truth is, cyclists are subsidised and underpay taxes so therefore cannot and do not pay for the roads which they so clearly wish to own…You refuse to accept that motorists pay for the use of the road whilst cyclists do not. Call it what you like, but motorists pay tax to use the roads, cyclists do not.
Motorists pay road tax… It is a tax to use the roads, the roads are paid for from the tax provided to the DfT. Let me remind you again; cyclists do NOT pay a specific tax for the use of the road. There can never be a just society when certain groups are given priority over others and cyclists today lead a privileged existence…It is not surprising that motorists feel hard done by when they pay such huge taxes and the roads are being heavily modified to favour cyclists who pay nothing.”
Jason Penn, London

  • Anonymous

    quite right i have as much right to use the road in my band a /free road licence car as anyone else,i pollute a lot less & take up less parking in my little smart cdi and get up to 90 mpg,for me it was the smart or give up driving,if somebody wants to drive a big juice guzzling car it is there choice,but they should expect to pay for it,how many big cars just drive around with just one person in them most of the time,esp the school runs and once or twice a week shop runs in big cars,no wonder the roads are always clogged.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve tried similar with the AA and RAC in the past. I also tried to get them into adding a cycling insurance/legal into their car policies so that their members would feel more covered if they left the car at home and gave cycling a go. rnrnI pointed out at the time (this is about 2 years back) that there were a number of benefits to the organisations themselves such as promoting sustainable and green transport, and that any pay out from an accident caused by a cyclist is a) less likely and b) likely to be a lot less than a motorvehicle.rnrnUnfortanuately I cant remember if I got a reply or if I did what it was, LOL!

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. But chipping away at every argument at least diverts militant motorists on to shakier ground. Many think the ‘I pay road tax, so cyclists have less rights’ argument is water-tight. nnAnyway, my first goal is to convert major orgs, such as the AA and the RAC etc. DVLA is already good at calling it car tax, but other orgs need to do likewise.

  • Anonymous

    If we all think the bad motorists will suddenly be nice and polite because we suddenly pay an extra tax (for using our own steam to get from a to b I will add!) then we’d be very misguided!rnrnThe argument (and it isnt even that as an argument has logical turns of thought and reason running through it, this is really just a form of prejudice) will simply shift to “you don’t belong there – the road is for cars as they can travel much faster” or “I have to pay for an MOT”, or the old nonsense about license plates and insurance….rnrnThis will go on and on and on ad infinitum.

  • Anonymous

    Jason Penn,nThe Vehicle Emissions Duty means just that – no one pays to use the roads they pay to pollute. Cyclists do not pollute so they are exempt. Roads are paid for by taxes which everyone employed adult pays. It really is quite simple to understand. Sadly the roads are full of people, like yourself, who struggle to comprehend simple ideas like this.

  • Anonymous

    quite right i have as much right to use the road in my band a /free road licence car as anyone else,i pollute a lot less & take up less parking in my little smart cdi and get up to 90 mpg,for me it was the smart or give up driving,if somebody wants to drive a big juice guzzling car it is there choice,but they should expect to pay for it,how many big cars just drive around with just one person in them most of the time,esp the school runs and once or twice a week shop runs in big cars,no wonder the roads are always clogged.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve tried similar with the AA and RAC in the past. I also tried to get them into adding a cycling insurance/legal into their car policies so that their members would feel more covered if they left the car at home and gave cycling a go. rnrnI pointed out at the time (this is about 2 years back) that there were a number of benefits to the organisations themselves such as promoting sustainable and green transport, and that any pay out from an accident caused by a cyclist is a) less likely and b) likely to be a lot less than a motorvehicle.rnrnUnfortanuately I cant remember if I got a reply or if I did what it was, LOL!

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. But chipping away at every argument at least diverts militant motorists on to shakier ground. Many think the ‘I pay road tax, so cyclists have less rights’ argument is water-tight. nnAnyway, my first goal is to convert major orgs, such as the AA and the RAC etc. DVLA is already good at calling it car tax, but other orgs need to do likewise.

  • Anonymous

    If we all think the bad motorists will suddenly be nice and polite because we suddenly pay an extra tax (for using our own steam to get from a to b I will add!) then we’d be very misguided!rnrnThe argument (and it isnt even that as an argument has logical turns of thought and reason running through it, this is really just a form of prejudice) will simply shift to “you don’t belong there – the road is for cars as they can travel much faster” or “I have to pay for an MOT”, or the old nonsense about license plates and insurance….rnrnThis will go on and on and on ad infinitum.

  • Anonymous

    Jason Penn,nThe Vehicle Emissions Duty means just that – no one pays to use the roads they pay to pollute. Cyclists do not pollute so they are exempt. Roads are paid for by taxes which everyone employed adult pays. It really is quite simple to understand. Sadly the roads are full of people, like yourself, who struggle to comprehend simple ideas like this.

  • Anonymous

    quite right i have as much right to use the road in my band a /free road licence car as anyone else,i pollute a lot less & take up less parking in my little smart cdi and get up to 90 mpg,for me it was the smart or give up driving,if somebody wants to drive a big juice guzzling car it is there choice,but they should expect to pay for it,how many big cars just drive around with just one person in them most of the time,esp the school runs and once or twice a week shop runs in big cars,no wonder the roads are always clogged.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve tried similar with the AA and RAC in the past. I also tried to get them into adding a cycling insurance/legal into their car policies so that their members would feel more covered if they left the car at home and gave cycling a go. rnrnI pointed out at the time (this is about 2 years back) that there were a number of benefits to the organisations themselves such as promoting sustainable and green transport, and that any pay out from an accident caused by a cyclist is a) less likely and b) likely to be a lot less than a motorvehicle.rnrnUnfortanuately I cant remember if I got a reply or if I did what it was, LOL!

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. But chipping away at every argument at least diverts militant motorists on to shakier ground. Many think the ‘I pay road tax, so cyclists have less rights’ argument is water-tight. nnAnyway, my first goal is to convert major orgs, such as the AA and the RAC etc. DVLA is already good at calling it car tax, but other orgs need to do likewise.

  • Anonymous

    If we all think the bad motorists will suddenly be nice and polite because we suddenly pay an extra tax (for using our own steam to get from a to b I will add!) then we’d be very misguided!rnrnThe argument (and it isnt even that as an argument has logical turns of thought and reason running through it, this is really just a form of prejudice) will simply shift to “you don’t belong there – the road is for cars as they can travel much faster” or “I have to pay for an MOT”, or the old nonsense about license plates and insurance….rnrnThis will go on and on and on ad infinitum.

  • Anonymous

    Jason Penn,nThe Vehicle Emissions Duty means just that – no one pays to use the roads they pay to pollute. Cyclists do not pollute so they are exempt. Roads are paid for by taxes which everyone employed adult pays. It really is quite simple to understand. Sadly the roads are full of people, like yourself, who struggle to comprehend simple ideas like this.

  • davidbullock

    Jason Penn,
    The Vehicle Emissions Duty means just that – no one pays to use the roads they pay to pollute. Cyclists do not pollute so they are exempt. Roads are paid for by taxes which everyone employed adult pays. It really is quite simple to understand. Sadly the roads are full of people, like yourself, who struggle to comprehend simple ideas like this.

  • Pingback: Bloody tax-dodgers! (There’s millions of ‘em) – I Pay Road Tax

  • Pingback: Why iPayRoadTax.com? – I Pay Road Tax

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/downfader2 Downfader

    If we all think the bad motorists will suddenly be nice and polite because we suddenly pay an extra tax (for using our own steam to get from a to b I will add!) then we'd be very misguided!

    The argument (and it isnt even that as an argument has logical turns of thought and reason running through it, this is really just a form of prejudice) will simply shift to “you don't belong there – the road is for cars as they can travel much faster” or “I have to pay for an MOT”, or the old nonsense about license plates and insurance….

    This will go on and on and on ad infinitum.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Agreed. But chipping away at every argument at least diverts militant motorists on to shakier ground. Many think the 'I pay road tax, so cyclists have less rights' argument is water-tight.

    Anyway, my first goal is to convert major orgs, such as the AA and the RAC etc. DVLA is already good at calling it car tax, but other orgs need to do likewise.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/downfader2 Downfader

    I've tried similar with the AA and RAC in the past. I also tried to get them into adding a cycling insurance/legal into their car policies so that their members would feel more covered if they left the car at home and gave cycling a go.

    I pointed out at the time (this is about 2 years back) that there were a number of benefits to the organisations themselves such as promoting sustainable and green transport, and that any pay out from an accident caused by a cyclist is a) less likely and b) likely to be a lot less than a motorvehicle.

    Unfortanuately I cant remember if I got a reply or if I did what it was, LOL!

  • Dan King

    quite right i have as much right to use the road in my band a /free road licence car as anyone else,i pollute a lot less & take up less parking in my little smart cdi and get up to 90 mpg,for me it was the smart or give up driving,if somebody wants to drive a big juice guzzling car it is there choice,but they should expect to pay for it,how many big cars just drive around with just one person in them most of the time,esp the school runs and once or twice a week shop runs in big cars,no wonder the roads are always clogged.

  • Dan King

    quite right i have as much right to use the road in my band a /free road licence car as anyone else,i pollute a lot less & take up less parking in my little smart cdi and get up to 90 mpg,for me it was the smart or give up driving,if somebody wants to drive a big juice guzzling car it is there choice,but they should expect to pay for it,how many big cars just drive around with just one person in them most of the time,esp the school runs and once or twice a week shop runs in big cars,no wonder the roads are always clogged.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HYLGX7HQR7RXV5S566QK37E3UE Jamie

    Cars pay tax on the amount of CO2 they emit on the highways, if your car doesn’t emit very much or is hybrid/electric then you dont have to pay. Although I dont cycle I ride horses who legally have more rights to be on the road than cars (yet people say equal rights to keep drivers contempt). Horses have a RIGHT to use the roads along with ABSOLUTE RIGHT OF WAY whilst on them. Motor Vehicles are only on a LICENSE to use the roads, you can pay as much or as little tax as you want but you will still have to give way to a horse, even emergency vehicles have to give way.