Thursday, 16 February 2012

I'm A Cyclist - Why I Don't And Won't Pay Road Tax

In light of nearly being run off my bike yet again from someone not giving way and looking properly coming out of a junction, I am reminded of the old 'ger off the road you don't pay road tax' argument.  I've no doubt many of you have come across this argument even if its not in a heated debate on the road side.  Motorist seem to stick to this old aged argument, clinging on because they really can't find any other justified way for them ruling the road.  I've heard it too many times, and I'm fed up of the ignorance so its time to set them right.

First lets start with with the term "road tax".  This is something that has not existed since the 1930s, what drivers do pay however is Vehicle Excise Duty, which is more commonly called road tax but is not really the same thing.

There are at least three valid points for cyclists not paying road tax so you may like to remember these for future arguments!

1) Vehicle Excise Duty is based on vehicle emissions.  Cyclists produce zero emissions and so there for do not pay tax.  Or better, they pay zero tax for producing zero emissions.

2)  According to a poll made by the British Cycling 87% of cyclists are also regular car drivers and so pay the same vehicle and fuel duties as other road users.

3) Vehicle Excise Duty tax doesn't always go towards road costs.  In fact it goes into one big pot along with income, council and other direct and direct taxes which cyclists also pay for which is used for the up keep of of public services including hospitals, transport, and roads.

Of course this argument is only from a tax perspective.  But as this seems to be the main gripe with drivers this should make matters more clear for you about why you have the same rights on the road.



Cyclists should probably get a refund because riding a bicycle causes less wear and tear on the infrastructure.

Just noticed this comment! Think that's a great idea but somehow that maybe pushing things too far. If it can't be accepted we ride for free, there will be outrage if we ride and get bonus money!

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