Gov.uk is now a little bit more accurate

Chapeau to those piloting Gov.uk: they fixed a couple of little niggles after being told about them.

Under ‘driving and transport’, there was a stray inclusion of ‘road tax’ (in brackets, but, still, best for the Government’s leading edge website to be accurate in all ways). And there was also an odd little phrase under ‘The Highway Code’. This was said to “include road signs and rules for vehicles and cyclists.” I explained that vehicles are inanimate objects and can’t follow rules. The website was duly edited.

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CONTACT FORM

  • Stephen Dutton

    FAO: Carlton Reid

    Your ipayroadtax website is quite misleading and essentially hinges on a
    minor technicality. While technically there is no such thing as “road
    tax” any more, the simple fact remains that there is a tax payable for
    most cars TO USE THE ROAD. If you don’t use your car on the road, you
    don’t have to pay the tax. Therefore, by definition, it is a tax to
    drive a vehicle on the road. Call this “tax to use the road” whatever
    you want: “road tax” / “vehicle excise duty” / whatever – it still
    amounts to being a “road tax” despite your false claims that it is “not a tax on roads or a fee to use them”.

    If you want to be technical, this tax is actually a “tax to use a motorised vehicle on public roads with the amount of tax based on a complicated system involving CO2 emissions, vehicle age, engine size, fuel type, type of vehicle and what the vehicle is used for”.

    Also, ipayroadtax’s other main
    point is again misleading and irrelevant: “Motorists do not pay directly
    for the roads. Roads are paid for via general and local taxation.” – no
    singular tax pays for what you would expect. Do you think that 100% of
    “National Insurance” (and no other tax) goes straight to pensions and healthcare?
    “Cigarette Duty” goes directly to the NHS to help pay for the diseases
    caused by the very thing they are taxing? “Fuel tax” goes on
    fixing/repairing/building roads? Nope. It all essentially goes into one
    big pot.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    It appears you haven’t read around on the site. All your points are addressed, esp your “by definition a tax to drive vehicle on a road point.” See the info about ex-pats having to GVED (graduated vehicle excise duty) their cars even if *never* used on UK roads. It’s a tax on vehicles, not road use. Clue is in the name. And that real name is VED, not “road tax.”

  • Stephen Dutton

    Admittedly I have not had the time to read through every single page of your website but the simple fact remains that when somebody visits your website, the first thing they see is the website’s name: “I Pay Road Tax” despite the fact that your entire website exists to propagate your *opinion* that it is a “Car Tax” not a “Road Tax”.

    The 2nd thing visitors see is:
    “Road tax doesn’t exist. It’s car tax, a tax on cars and other vehicles, not a tax on roads or a fee to use them. Motorists do not pay directly for the roads. Roads are paid for via general and local taxation.”
    As I have already pointed out, the above is both incorrect and misleading, regardless of what else may be written on pages deeper within your website.

    I am fully aware that the real name of this tax is “Vehicle Excise Duty” – but even that name is incorrect for a few reasons:
    - Bicycles are a type of vehicle so shouldn’t this duty apply?
    - It neglects to mention that this tax is levied to drive your vehicle ***on the road***
    - It is really a “license” not a “duty” since you still need the “license” regardless of whether the vehicle is except from duty.

    The shortest accurate name I can come up with currently is “Motor Vehicle Road Licence” but this is still a bit of a mouthful…

    With regards to expatriates, perhaps you can point me in the right direction as your search function does not come up with anything despite trying various different search terms. Google site search turned up a couple of vague comments but nothing more.

    I can only assume that you are referring to UK citizens that live abroad along with their car which is still registered in the UK. I confess I don’t know the exact laws on this but here’s a few points:
    - most countries will only allow you to keep a foreign-registered vehicle there for a short period of time which would make this a non-issue. In the UK, I believe this it limited to 6 months.
    - If you are not using the car on UK roads, you do not have to pay this tax but you do have to register it as SORN.
    - VED is actually classed as “a tax levied on licences granted for certain activities” – in this case, driving a motor vehicle on UK roads which would not apply to expatriates.

    Obviously, the law is extremely complicated and has so many loopholes and exemptions that it makes it virtually impossible for anyone to figure it out without a law degree and a huge amount of time, so there is presumably more to this and I await your response!

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Post Offices and AA now use the term “car tax”.

    Gov’t uses less user friendly VED.

    If you want to get technical, it’s not a tax at all, and it definitely is not a licence, it’s a duty.
    But you’re right about the law degree. Tax and duty is kept deliberately obtuse. Fact remains, none of the money raised by whatever you want to call it is spent *directly* on roads. Use of the phrase “road tax” is perfectly fine if the person saying understands that none of the money they pay the Government goes directly to roads. Winston Churchill was spot on when he said motorists would assume the duty would be perceived as a usage fee.