UK Road Tax

Registration of vehicles in the UK is predominately referred to as ‘road tax’ even though road tax was actually abolished some 74 years ago.  Registration is in fact a ‘vehicle exercise duty’ (VED) .  There has been much incorrect and emotive talk in the UK media about cyclists should pay road tax and not ‘freeload’ on the system.  This arguement as usual, ignores that most cyclists would be paying VED on a vehicle that they are presumably not driving on that day (thereby making room for cars), the fact that in the UK roads are not funded from VED and finally if you drive a car with low emissions such as a Toyota Prius, you don’t pay VED anyway.  You can find more detail on the website at

The problem with, or perhaps the intent of emotive campaigns is to dismiss rationale discussion and play on emotive but illogical prejudices.  For cyclists this can mean a motorist deliberately using their vehicle as a weapon to ‘teach them a lesson’.  I think we have all witnessed this on occasions.  Time to buy one of their tee shirts perhaps?

About Peter Bartlett