Vehicle tax madness

I just received my vehicle tax reminder. The amount you have to pay depends on how much carbon dioxide (CO2) it emits per kilometre. As my car produces rather a lot, I have to pay a huge amount of vehicle tax.

You might think this is a good idea. Superficially it is. Penalise those who produce the most air pollution and save the planet! However, vehicle tax bands are the same for petrol and diesel vehicles. So the oil burner in front of me at the traffic lights can pump out all sorts of nasty black particles without paying a penny more in tax.

Also, vehicle tax does not take into account the number of kilometres driven per annum, or the purpose of the journeys. I hardly drive my car, and when I do it’s for a good reason. But I pay the same tax as someone who makes multiple frivolous journeys throughout the year because they are too lazy to walk, or they don’t like trains. Or who has a heavy right foot. Or someone who sits in Tesco’s car park with the engine running while they browse Facebook.

Another unfairness is the new vehicle tax system for cars registered after 31 March 2017. These attract a large amount of tax in the first year, which as before varies according to carbon dioxide output. From year two onward though, there is a flat rate for both petrol and diesel vehicles regardless of emissions. So over the long run the tax evens out.

For example, a car producing 230g CO2 per km attracts £1700 tax in year 1. From year 2 it’s £140 per annum. So over ten years that is a total of £2960 in vehicle tax. Older cars (made before 1 April 2017) emitting the same amount of CO2 would attract a total of £5200 tax over ten years. That’s 75% more! Why?

Does the government actually want perfectly good vehicles to be scrapped prematurely? That’s not very green, is it?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.