We Should Pay by the Mile to Drive Our Future Whizzy Cars

By Gary Cutlack on at

People with calculators thinking of ways to keep the road network financed when we're all driving things that don't require vehicle tax to be paid have had an idea; charge people by the mile. Bin the current system entirely and make people pay vehicle duties when they actually do some driving.

This idea has come from the man at the top of the AA, Edmund King, and his economist wife Deidre, who say in their Policy Exchange idea submission that the road network will soon become completely unsustainable what with zero-emission vehicles rising in popularity and potentially leaving a huge funding hole in the road network's finances.

The Kings' system suggests that every car owner gets a starter pack of 3,000 miles each year for one registered car, which they can enjoy driving and burning off for free. After that, some sort of negotiated fee per mile will be charged, which could be less than 1p per mile, creating a fairer system based on how much driving a driver does. It might even seriously encourage people to drive less.

Mileages would be checked at MOT time, plus there'd be an accompanying drop in fuel duty to make everyone happy about something they've known all their lives changing, and there could be promotions where manufacturers might bundle additional miles with their vehicles or Samsung sponsors a chunk of the M25 through which you can drive for free. [The Times]

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