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BVRLA and partners call for road pricing to be reconsidered in overhaul of motoring tax system

Tue 05 March 2019 | Back to news list

The BVRLA, which speaks for the vehicle leasing industry, has published a new report - supported by nine organisations representing economists, fleets, motorists, the automotive industry, energy providers, and local government - which calls for the idea of road pricing to be revisited as, it says, a new policy on motoring taxation is needed.

The BVRLA's new report – 'Road to Zero: time to shift gear on tax' – warns that the arrival of increasingly connected, electric and shared road transport presents challenges and opportunities for future Government motoring tax policy.

The report is supported by RAC, Zenith, DriveNow, Ricardo, Energy UK, BP Chargemaster, Cambridge Econometrics, the Centre for Economics and Business Research and the Centre for London.

The report points to an impending decline in revenues from the current CO2 emissions-based regime (rising to up to £2bn a year) and highlights the potential for a new tax system that could also be used to help deliver policy priorities in a range of areas including urban air quality and congestion. 

The report says that Government taxes and incentives could be used to give fleets and motorists a much clearer and more consistent long-term message to adopt plug-in electric vehicles and that this will bring economic benefits.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “Fuel duty, VED and Company Car Tax have been successful in driving down carbon emissions. Now it is time to go back to the drawing board and explore how the fiscal regime could also make roads safer, less congested and fit for the future.”

The report's contributors have also co-signed a letter to the Chancellor which calls on the Government to Commission an independent and wide-ranging review into the modernisation of the motoring tax system for a zero-emission future.

The letter includes proposals to develop a national road-user charging policy that can support cities and regions if they choose to implement local motoring charging schemes.

The BVRLA report echoes proposals in a 2018 report from the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) - 'State of the Nation 2018 report on infrastructure investment' - which called on the Government to give serious consideration to replacing the existing generation of road taxes with a pay as you go model for the busiest roads in England.

A recent report from the Aldersgate Group ("Priorities for Decarbonising Transport") also called for the development of a new system of road pricing.

In giving evidence to the Parliamentary Science & Technology Committee's inquiry into 'clean growth' in February, the LowCVP's MD Andy Eastlake commented that improved connectivity through communications technology now makes the introduction of an emissions-focused road pricing system a much more realistic and attractive prospect.

The LowCVP recently joined BVRLA and the CBI in a meeting with Treasury officials to discuss proposals for the adoption of WLTP in CO2-based taxation from 2020. 

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