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Drivers say no to pay-as-you-drive – South London News

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Venson survey reveals that UK motorists do not favour proposals for a nationwide pay-as-you-drive scheme but accept an EV related tax.

In a bid to plug tax revenue losses as a result of the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) transition, MPs on the Transport Committee are urging the Government to consider introducing a ‘pay-as-you-drive’ scheme using telematics technology.

However, according to research by Venson Automotive Solutions, this proposal does not win favour with motorists.

Only 22 per cent of motorists it surveyed agreed with its introduction, whilst 38 per cent backed the introduction of a specific EV tax.

The Venson survey asked motorists which options they would support if the Treasury were to propose them.

A specific EV tax that is applied to a vehicle was the most popular option (38 per cent), followed by the introduction of charges at currently free public EV charging points (32 per cent).

A Road Miles system, not dissimilar to a pay-as-you-drive scheme, which would see motorists who exceed a set annual mileage pay a per-mile premium (31 per cent), was the third.

The impact the fleet sector is having on EV take-up has not gone unnoticed by motorists.

One in four (27 per cent) believe that a specific EV business use charge should be introduced, payable by businesses operating EV fleets not drivers.

Alison Bell, operations director at Venson Automotive Solutions said: “With the ban on the purchase of new petrol or diesel vehicles coming into force from 2030, followed by a ban on hybrid vehicles from 2035, the UK Government has very little time to introduce a fair and cost-effective nationwide solution to recoup the lost taxes.

Our research clearly shows that a pay-as-you drive system is not what motorists want, but they are not averse to an alternative, such as a specific EV related tax.”

Road pricing schemes are not a new idea.

In 2005, the Transport Secretary Alistair Darling proposed a similar scheme. However, it was met with a petition signed by more than 1.8 million people who stated the idea of tracking every vehicle at all times is sinister and wrong, and a ‘big brother’ state and invasion of privacy.

The boom in vehicle telematics usage over the last decade, particularly in relation to insurance discounts for younger drivers and Fleet Management systems, should have softened motorist disapproval to share driving and vehicle data, but the Venson survey suggests many motorists are still reluctant to embrace this type of technology.

Ms Bell said: “The increased uptake of EVs ahead of the 2030 ban does create a significant dilemma for Government, as it does need to make up the revenue shortfall in vehicle excise and fuel duty taxes.

However, interestingly, the Transport Committee Road Pricing Report does state that a switch to road pricing should be revenue neutral and not cause motorists to pay more than they do currently, particularly high-mileage drivers such as road hauliers and those living in rural communities.

“However, until a new system is introduced, motorists may well fear that Government will be looking to create a cash cow in wake of wider economic challenges.”

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