‘Road tax’ rage set for April

Budget 2008 VED hike for most polluting cars

Mass media petrolheads and those buying gas guzzlers from April onwards are going to get an awful shock: car tax is going to go through the (sun)roof. Those owning the most polluting cars will have to cough £950 for VED in year one and £435 every year thereafter. This was announced in the budget of 2008 but it’s not been at all visible because it’s not yet being charged.

Come April 1st and there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth when Chelsea Tractor buyers are suddenly hit with the so-called ‘showroom tax’. Of course, it’s not a tax on showrooms just as ‘road tax’ isn’t a tax on roads. It’s ‘car tax’, a tax on cars.

To be precise it’s Vehicle Excise Duty. To be ultra-precise it’s GVED, graduated Vehicle Excise Duty. And it’s graduated, by Government, to get motorists to ditch their gas guzzlers in favour of CO2 benign cars. Of course, it won’t work. Those who choose to drive Band M cars – a new VED Band, created for those cars which spew out 255g of CO per km – can afford the biggest of car tax hikes.

Band A cars – which spew out less than 100g CO2 per km – will still pay a big fat zero in VED but cars in Bands B, C, and D will also pay zero. At least for the first year. After that they pay £20, £30, £90 and £110 per year. But with four VED Bands paying zero VED that radically extends the number of tax-dodgers out there, adding to the millions of motorists who already pay diddly squat for the tax way too many people assume “pays for the roads”.

Spoof rebate letter to the DVLA from Anthony, editor of City Cycling:

BYK3 - Spoof 'road tax' rebate letter