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How much is road tax uk

Would you prefer car tax to be based on how far you drive, and which roads you take?

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has announced that plans to replace road tax and petrol duty with a pay-as-you-go system could be trialled within five years and if successful applied nationwide as early as 2015.

Every vehicle would have a black box to allow a satellite system to track their journey, with prices ranging from 2p per mile on quiet country roads to Ј1.34 on motorways at peak times.

Are the proposals fairer than road tax and petrol duty? Would the planned scheme be better or worse for the environment?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we received:

Mike Moore, Newport, Shropshire

Fundamentally the idea is good but has many flaws. I live in a rural area where public transport is at best abysmal. My 15 minute journey into work by car takes 1 hour on a bus and is also expensive. The charges should be made on the busiest roads at peak times to encourage car sharing etc. I also fear that like car tax there will many who simply will not pay and money will be wasted chasing them down. At least with fuel charges you have no choice!

Mike Moore, Newport, Shropshire

We already do have a pay as you go road charging system - it's called fuel duty.

Stephen Charlesworth, Leeds

We already pay per mile through fuel tax; this is just a way for the government to attempt to increase fuel tax without the road blockades. They think we are stupid, perhaps we are!

John Vaughan, Rayleigh, England

The answer to road congestion is simple build more roads and ensure they will be suitable for future upgrading.

Johnno, Widnes

I think the tax is unfair and will be a high burden on low and middle earners. In addition we don't have a reasonable, reliable transport system to compensate.

Linda Evans, Merseyside

This is social engineering - rationing road usage dependent on ability to pay. Not having any differential between fuel-efficient and other vehicles also shows its just a policy for raising taxes and keeping the riff-raff off the roads when our 'betters' want to travel.

Ann, UK

Not only the identity card then but a scheme that will allow government to know where we've been and our current location at all times. What next? The personal thought chip?

Improve public transport and give those of us who currently have no choice but to drive a car an alternative. This proposed scheme will clog up minor roads and make some private companies very rich, while I may not be able to afford to get to work.

Ciara, Belfast

I would give this scheme a cautious welcome, my only worry is that the cost of motoring for my fuel efficient, low emission Smart car will now be no cheaper than my thirsty 46year old Land Rover. Is this really an environmentally responsible plan?

Peter Wray, Nortwich, Cheshire

If the government were to scrap fuel duty and car tax, this idea might be OK. However, I don't believe politicians' promises when it comes to scrapping of taxes. In addition, the scheme would penalise those in rural areas who have to use a car, and as a by-product, it could do away with the need for speed cameras as tracking technology could also measure speed.

Rik Bean, Milton Keynes, UK

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. What about those who drive 60 miles a day, during rush hour, on busy motorways, to get to and from work? Why don't we try and learn a few lessons from our European counterparts? Scrap road tax and petrol duty and introduce a toll system on our motorways only. They don't charge that much for this in Europe either.

Arwen Hunt, Hampshire

Dave Miller, Wellingborough Northants

Wonderful idea, and an excellent use of technology. Vehicles could have their tariff individually tailored according to time, route, and need. Tax and insurance avoidance could be checked instantly, and stolen vehicles apprehended quickly.

Dave Miller, Wellingborough Northants

As petrol will be much cheaper without the tax does this mean I can get rid of my small fuel efficient car and go and get the biggest four wheel drive I can find at little extra running costs?

Mick Prosser, Kidderminster

Fitting a tracking device to my car and monitoring my journeys? Very Orwellian. Personally I consider tracking my movements to be an infringement of my civil liberties.

Tom, Milton Keynes, UK

It's a stupid idea. It would be extremely expensive to implement, extremely expensive to police and very easy to get round. Fuel duty on the other hand already exists, is cheap to implement, penalises heavy users and makes environmentally friendlier fuels attractive. If you don't like congestion, use some other form of transport. Motorcycle, bus, train, bicycle etc.

Colin Smith, Glasgow, Scotland

I thought we already did this. It's the tax on fuel - the more you use the more you pay. But it is funny that we are one of the most highly taxed countries for motor vehicles, but they still want to charge more.

Andy Jump, Ipswich

Just another government scheme to make more money out of us all, given that most of us drive on urban roads quite frequently. In addition, I would object to the government being able to track my every move by satellite - it's a clear infringement of my privacy. What we really need is more roads, and to widen existing ones, not more taxation!

Chris, Cambridge

People travel by car because it is cheaper than rail, bus and taxi in many cases. Improve local public transport and reduce their cost and more people will gravitate to using them.

Munir, Guildford

Compulsory ID cards with chips and now satellite tracking devices in our cars. Sounds like big brother wants to keep an eye on us.

Kevin Grist, Brighton

Roy, Welwyn Garden City, UK

I have GPS in my car - there are times when I can't get a GPS lock because of satellite positioning and at other times it puts me on the wrong road! This proposal in not well thought out - it's another demonstration of the government jumping on the technology bandwagon with absolutely no idea of the possible consequences.

Roy, Welwyn Garden City, UK

Taxing fuel has a larger effect on inefficient vehicles. Why should owners of more efficient and environmentally friendly hybrid/electric cars and motorbikes be forced to pay more?

Payment for road use should be based upon miles driven and size/weight/power of vehicle i.e. larger/heavier/more powerful vehicles are more destructive of road surfaces so should pay more. The most logical and least bureaucratic method of payment would be duty on fuel - this duty is already punitive so little more should be added to replace the road fund licence. Savings can be made by dismantling at least part of the DVLC bureaucracy.

Richard jemielita, Glasgow

This sounds like a good idea however there are a number of loopholes and moral issues that need to be looked at. If this is going to replace fuel tax (I very much doubt it) then what's to stop "fuel cruises" from Europe appearing to stock up in Dover? If living near Calais I'd be quite happily spend a couple of hours a week topping up my tank in Britain!

Chris Rowland, St Albans, UK

David R Williams, Rugby, UK

This scheme is being considered because alternative to petroleum fuel cannot be side-lined much longer by the petroleum company lobbyists. Money raised will be used elsewhere for certain. Anyway if we woke up we would notice that just as the motor car replaced the horse so the internet will replace the car.

David R Williams, Rugby, UK

Great! I am a field based systems engineer. I currently drive some 30,000 miles per year travelling to and from customer sites. If this proposal goes ahead I will be paying out more in travelling tax than I currently earn! There has to be a system whereby legitimate business users like myself and haulage contractors are not penalised for the mileage they do. People have to remember that not everything can be undertaken from home.

Andrew, Northampton, UK

This idea is bound to be opposed by motorists. It's just another stealth tax, and, a lot of motorists and particularly pensioners, who may rely heavily on their cars to get about, won't be able to afford it. It would be better to put a tax on the fuel, and do away with the road fund licence, instead. Tolls should be applied to motorway driving only.

Thomas Lowry, Leeds, UK

I would be very happy if the public transport were to improve and my car became surplus, does the government have the will to turn rhetoric into action?

Shabir Ahmed, Exeter, UK

My work hours are at peak times so I cannot avoid paying a fortune. I have had my car converted to LPG at full cost to me because its greener and half the cost of petrol, what more can I do? Pay-as-you-go is only a way of getting more money out of the driver, I can bet you it will cost me more than my car tax each year. So I say it's time we hit back at all these money making ideas.

Matt Leggett, Stevenage, Herts

Without better public transport this is just another way of fleecing the motorist. Already our money is not used on the roads but to fund other areas. If it has to happen then abolish road tax, add a cost to petrol duty, then we have a simple pay as you use systems with those who drive more paying more, and those who drive gas guzzlers are paying more and we have the added benefit of no road tax dodgers. But it won't happen as this is too simple a method.

Paul Allen, Stourbridge, UK

V Boy, Lydney, Glos, England

It would be fairer, certainly, but consideration also needs to be given to disabled drivers - the petrol tax did not take them into consideration either, but they have no choice but to use their vehicles and there is no public transport in rural areas, therefore the distances that the disabled driver needs to travel per outing is increased due to the distance between towns and amenities.

V Boy, Lydney, Glos, England

As this will all be based on computer technology, I wonder how easily it will be bypassed. What price a "mileage tax defeater" down the pub or at the car boot sale? And what chaos will reign when the system crashes, or a "mileage tax virus" hits? And don't let anyone tell you these things won't happen. The incentives for people to develop them for profit or harm will be enormous.

Lawrence, Crowthorne, UK

What an overcomplicated system! Is there some reason why the government can't simply put road tax onto petrol? The more you use the more you spend! Simple!

That's the stick. what about some carrot? How about providing tax breaks to people that move closer to work or home work? The real problem here is that we have car dependency and an expectation that it is OK for everyone to drive 40 miles to work everyday. I would hope that there is a discounted rate for people that need a car to do their work and the disabled

After the highest rail fares in Europe now we are going to have the highest car journeys as well. Lower rail and bus fares to compete with the cars, that is the solution!

Christos Gionis, Billericay

Category: Taxes

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