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boisdevie1

Road tax - why can't we cut it altogether?

In France they have. Imagine. You cut road tax. At a stroke you slash bureaucracy, save money and don't have to use resources to target those who fail to tax their cars. Instead you have a little extra tax on petrol. So those who consume most petrol/deisel pay the most.
So if you've got a massively efficient car and do 100k miles per year you'd pay more than somebody with an old Land Rover that does, say, 2000 per year.
Is the idea too simple for the government?
JB

The only benefit I can see for road tax is that it forced people to demonstrate that their vehicles were insured and had a valid MOT. But with the linking of the records online now even that argument no longer holds true.
boisdevie1

In terms of insurance, here in France you have to display a small sticker on the windscreen. So easy. So simple. So why the hell can't the do that in the UK? Bonkers.
JB

boisdevie1 wrote:
In terms of insurance, here in France you have to display a small sticker on the windscreen. So easy. So simple. So why the hell can't the do that in the UK? Bonkers.


There's no need to now as they can track your MOT and insurance status through their online systems.
vegplot

Car tax is outdated and a bureaucratic burden. However, can you see bureaucrats wanting to make themselves redundant?
Behemoth

Following from the other thread I do think it's become clumsy and ill defined.
snozzer

Re: Road tax - why can't we cut it altogether?

boisdevie1 wrote:
why can't we cut it altogether?

Because nanny makes a small fortune from it.

boisdevie1 wrote:
At a stroke you slash bureaucracy, save money and don't have to use resources to target those who fail to tax their cars.


All those t*****rs in public sector jobs crying, they will argue IT IS IMPORTANT

boisdevie1 wrote:
Is the idea too simple for the government?

Yes


PS. Before I get slapped for the public sector job comment, my point is aimed at the 75% of managers, bureaucrat , politicians, quango commitees etc Not at the poor foot soldier who does the work (the 1 in 4)
Treacodactyl

JB wrote:
boisdevie1 wrote:
In terms of insurance, here in France you have to display a small sticker on the windscreen. So easy. So simple. So why the hell can't the do that in the UK? Bonkers.


There's no need to now as they can track your MOT and insurance status through their online systems.


So why are there so many uninsured and un-MOTed vehicles on the roads?

I was going to say the main reason for tax was to show the car was MOTed if required but the French idea of having an insurance disc sounds much better if the traffic wardens and police have the powers and resources to deal with uninsured cars.
vegplot

Treacodactyl wrote:
So why are there so many uninsured and un-MOTed vehicles on the roads?


That was address recently when the police in conjunction with DVLA put up a camera at Pont Britannia for a few days. The camera was linked to a recognition system linked to DVLA's computer so within moments of a car passing the police, at the other end of the bridge, knew which cars had tax, mot and insurance and those which did not. The catch was astounding but I don't recall wehere the info was posted. news.bbc.co.uk I think..
OP

Why stop with car tax. There are no doubt many taxes like this, that have outlived their usefulness.

Some eastern european countries have introduced a "flat tax" scheme which appears to have some advantages along these lines. It is simple for taxpayers to understand, and simple for the government to collect.

One of the worst examples of taxation is the london congestion charge, where a significant proportion of the tax income is spent on administration.

As I suggested on another thread, if we had some kind of independent tax regulator, perhaps one of their roles would be to check that taxes met basic criteria such as transparency for taxpayers, and efficiency of collection. Proposed taxes that did not meet these criteria would not be allowed.
JB

Treacodactyl wrote:
JB wrote:
boisdevie1 wrote:
In terms of insurance, here in France you have to display a small sticker on the windscreen. So easy. So simple. So why the hell can't the do that in the UK? Bonkers.


There's no need to now as they can track your MOT and insurance status through their online systems.


So why are there so many uninsured and un-MOTed vehicles on the roads?


Because they're not bothering to pay VED either, or their insurance and MOT expire after paying the VED. The problem there is that noone checks.
vegplot

orangepippin wrote:
Why stop with car tax. There are no doubt many taxes like this, that have outlived their usefulness.

Some eastern european countries have introduced a "flat tax" scheme which appears to have some advantages along these lines. It is simple for taxpayers to understand, and simple for the government to collect.

One of the worst examples of taxation is the london congestion charge, where a significant proportion of the tax income is spent on administration.

As I suggested on another thread, if we had some kind of independent tax regulator, perhaps one of their roles would be to check that taxes met basic criteria such as transparency for taxpayers, and efficiency of collection. Proposed taxes that did not meet these criteria would not be allowed.


Wow. A brave man it is who proposes wiping out half the bureucratic working population in one deft penning of a taxation reform.
Rob R

DVLA wrote:
It's quick, safe & easy to tax or SORN online


No it's not Mad on at least two of those counts, it doesn't appear to be even possible bandhead

Quote:
The vehicle has an MOT/GVT test certificate valid on the date the disc starts or is under 3 years old - this will be electronically checked.


The vehicle has/is neither so it won't let me proceed. They obviously haven't thought this through for vehicles that don't need an MOT so why write it on the V11?

Edit: I found out you just answer yes to all the initial questions & it lets you proceed anyway.
RichardW

What sort of vehicle Rob?

Justme
Rob R

Tractor, sorted now, it just wasn't very clear on their website so I've written to them to point it out.
RichardW

Thats what I guessed as I have done tractors & a agri quad online with no problems.

Justme
gil

JB wrote:
There's no need to now as they can track your MOT and insurance status through their online systems.


Not always, still.
I spent a merry couple of years not showing up on the system as insured, being stopped by the police wherever I went. The local nick had a photocopy of my car insurance docs up on the wall, eventually.
Rob R

Justme wrote:
Thats what I guessed as I have done tractors & a agri quad online with no problems.

Justme


Yeah, it just hacks me off when such sites make you lie before they'll let you proceed.
cab

Re: Road tax - why can't we cut it altogether?

boisdevie1 wrote:
In France they have.


And in Britain too, since 1928 I believe. Since then there has been no road tax fund; most recenetly we've got a banded structure based on vehicle fuel efficiency, such as:

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/vedSearch.asp

A lot of highway maintenance is paid for via council tax.

Quote:
Imagine. You cut road tax. At a stroke you slash bureaucracy, save money and don't have to use resources to target those who fail to tax their cars. Instead you have a little extra tax on petrol. So those who consume most petrol/deisel pay the most.


I entirely follow that logic, and I can see advantages to that.

Yet... It isn't enough. Why not also put extra emphasis on the up-front cost of taxing the vehicle? Fuel costs are kind of hidden from view, you don't see them when you pay for a vehicle, whereas VED is an up-front indication of the efficiency of what you have bought. I can see advantages to both.

Quote:
So if you've got a massively efficient car and do 100k miles per year you'd pay more than somebody with an old Land Rover that does, say, 2000 per year.
Is the idea too simple for the government?


Why not incentivise people to do both, i.e. reduce fuel use (via fuel tax) and choose efficient vehicles (via VED)? Why should it be an either-or thing?
vegplot

Re: Road tax - why can't we cut it altogether?

cab wrote:
Why not incentivise people to do both, i.e. reduce fuel use (via fuel tax) and choose efficient vehicles (via VED)? Why should it be an either-or thing?


Wouldn't a simple fuel tax levy have the same result? Having just the one tax is by far the most cost efficient way of collecting tax revenue as the fuel vendors do most of the work, like VAT. Colelcting and managing VED, as it stands, requires an increased level of bureaucracy which offsets the tax collected.

We're not really talking about encouraging reduction in useage specifically but a simplification of the tax system. I can see the merits of doing both but with one system rather than two.
OP

Exactly. VED achieves nothing and adds complication. The whole thing could be more efficiently achieved with just fuel tax.
Treacodactyl

Re: Road tax - why can't we cut it altogether?

cab wrote:
Quote:
Imagine. You cut road tax. At a stroke you slash bureaucracy, save money and don't have to use resources to target those who fail to tax their cars. Instead you have a little extra tax on petrol. So those who consume most petrol/deisel pay the most.


I entirely follow that logic, and I can see advantages to that.

Yet... It isn't enough. Why not also put extra emphasis on the up-front cost of taxing the vehicle? Fuel costs are kind of hidden from view, you don't see them when you pay for a vehicle, whereas VED is an up-front indication of the efficiency of what you have bought. I can see advantages to both.


How many cars have you bought recently or seriously thought about buying? When you look at a car you see the energy certs now, you tend to see the MPG quite clearly if that's a selling point of the car but you don't tend to see much about the cost of the VED unless you search for it. You might see the band mentioned but often the VED cost is hidden away and if it's going to change in a few months time it's up to the purchaser to track the info down.
Behemoth

Is it the case that cars with similar mpg's have different levels of emisions (although there will be some linkage obviously)?

A genuine question, asked in ignorance.

Now decide do you want to tackle, consumption, fuel efficency, pollution, or any combination thereof. It might provide the basis for your chosen system.
vegplot

Behemoth wrote:
Is it the case that cars with similar mpg's have different levels of emisions (although there will be some linkage obviously)?

A genuine question, asked in ignorance.

Now decide do you want to tackle, consumption, fuel efficency, pollution, or any combination thereof. It might provide the basis for your chosen system.


Cleaner burn engines are not always the most energy efficient so there is some discrepency between the two but on the whole one could argue that in general mpg is proportional to pollution if we're tlaking about the same fuel type.
Treacodactyl

Just to highlight it is based on CO2 emissions, not fuel consumption.

Also to confirm my point above I've got open the brochure for the new Mazda 2. I have a choice between a 1.3 or a sportier 1.5. The brochure states that they emit 129 and 140 g/km of CO2 respectively. It does NOT mention the VED band. It lists the MPG and the smaller engine should do a few more miles per gallon which is what I look at when thinking about which one to choose, if I decide to get one.

Funnily enough, both cars are in the same VED band so that's another point about the bands which is daft, why are they bands rather than a sliding scale based on the CO2?
Green Man

Brown could keep the planned 2p hike in duty, and scrap car tax. Everybody would be happy and nobody would loose face. Idea
vegplot

Treacodactyl wrote:
Funnily enough, both cars are in the same VED band so that's another point about the bands which is daft, why are they bands rather than a sliding scale based on the CO2?


Good question. As mpg is related to CO2 emissions then it pays to tax the fuel rather than the car. I dislike VED as auser who need a large engined vehicle but doesn't do a great deal of mileage is penalised just for owning that vehicle rather than the use and hence polution they may cause.
Rob R

Cho-ku-ri wrote:
Brown could keep the planned 2p hike in duty, and scrap car tax. Everybody would be happy and nobody would loose face. Idea


Sounds like a decent enough idea.

Although I've just done the figures & for an average car as follows:

12000 miles per annum @ 43mpg equates to 1255 litres of fuel. As the mid-band of car tax is 145 divide that by 1255 gives you 11.5p tax on fuel to be the same revenue.
OP

Frankly, I think we have solved most of Brown's tax problems on this and other threads. All he needs to do is pay attention!
Behemoth

I'm waiting by the phone.
OP

Behemoth wrote:
I'm waiting by the phone.


Quote from the Sunday Times today:

A revelation last week painted an interesting picture of a man who, while insisting that he is concentrating on the big picture, is easily sidetracked by minutiae. Brown has reportedly taken to telephoning members of the public who have written to him with their problems.
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