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United Kingdom: Cyclist Seeks To Slay UK 'Road Tax' Myth

Friday, 16 August 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Amanda Banks
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Author: Amanda Banks

A campaigner is seeking to dispel a commonly-held misapprehension in the UK that car owners pay a "Road Tax," despite the fact that this tax was abolished more than 75 years ago.

Since 1937, vehicle owners have instead had to pay Vehicle Excise Duty, which is paid directly to the UK Treasury for general use. Depending on when a vehicle was registered, rates are determined on either engine size or fuel type and CO2 emissions.

However, the tax is still popularly thought of as a "Road Tax," and has been described as such even in some official announcements. As a result, many people believe that the tax is used to maintain roadways. This in turn has led to resentment by car-users against cyclists, who are incorrectly perceived as using roads for free.

The awareness campaign has been organized by a cycle journalist named Carlton Reid, and it has come to wider attention following a collision between a cyclist and driver in which the driver afterwards stated on Twitter that the non-existent tax gives drivers right of way over cyclists. Reid has recorded other examples of drivers who believe the same thing, usually expressed during altercations with cyclists.

On his website,, Reid observes: "Otherwise intelligent people reveal they genuinely don’t know how roads are paid for…  They see it as socially acceptable to verbally abuse fellow road users because of the mistaken belief that those road users don't pay for roads."



Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

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