Monday, 14 May 2018

Inequality of Vehicle Excise Duty

I'm currently looking to buy a replacement car. Note I don't say a new car, because I can't afford one.

Having a boat (therefore wanting a huge boot for lugging stuff around) and wanting a bit of comfort I was looking a at 15-year-old Lexus 4x4. The RX300 is a cut-price cruiser, it does everything and is available at the sort of year I'm looking at relatively cheaply. My budget being around £2000. It also is a 4x4 so has chunky tyres that ironically cope better with the potholes that our Vehicle Excise Duty fails to be spent on year-on-year.

Hoever, looking at Vehilce Excise Duty (VED) for the car, it's an eye-watering £582 a year. A whole quarter of the cost of buying the car. Every year.

Now my Volvop V70 2.4 litre Swedish tank, being made in 1999 and pre-emissions VED, means I onlt pay £180 a year for VED. My current car has 291,000 miles on the clock, is leaking oil into the bores and burning it in a haze of blue. You'd think I would be encouraged by the government to chop it in and avoid adding to the haze of hydrocarbons that surround Portsmouth.

£400 difference is a pretty big dissuader. But it got me thinking:

Why does VED no taper off after so many years? I can understand that a brand new Range Rover has a huge VED bill and because that bill is a fraction of the cost of the vehicle, most people would pay it.

But as the vehicle becomes older,. the VED cost becomes a substantial proportion of the cost of the vehicle. A big cooling factor when buying the vehicle.

The environmentalists would raise a cheer, because that means the vehicle become uneconomic and ends up on the scrapheap sooner. But hang on, that perfectly serviceable vehicle is being scrapped not because it is at the end of it's life, but because of some arbitrary ecomonic price attached to ownership.

That makes no environmental sense. Once the vehicle is scrapped, the envirionmental cost of making a new vehicle to replace it is several years worth of CO2 had the vehicle carried on running.

So why does VED not taper off as the vehicle becomes older? That way there's an acknowlegment that the environmental cost of changing the vehicle is higher than keeping it on the road.

It also recognises the fact that poorer people will buy older cars, people that cannot afford a brand new Range Rover, but would quite like to drive an older model and do what is necessary to keep it on the road.

VED is used as a tool of jealousy, milking the rich that can afford to pay the price, and keeping the poor people that can't afford to pay the price of running an older model once it becomes affordable.

Yet another way that the elite keep the poor down. The "I can afford it but you can't" mentality shoved right in your face coated in environmentalism.