Road pricing gone mad?

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Not sure if it's much the same all over the world, but in the UK our fuel prices are rising ever higher! Infact, last time the price per litre got this high, there was a strike. Now I'm not a tight arse or nything, but £1.09 a litre for unleaded or £1.18 a litre for diesel is a silly price to pay! (the price for diesel is the highest I've found in my area, and is from yesterday). In my opinion it would be much better to integrate road taxing with fuel pricing so as to at least make the price hikes more acceptable. Other unacceptable price increases are road tax (increased to as much as £400pa for cars with 2.0-litre engines or larger), more tolls on roads with heavy congestion and further congestion charging in and around City centres. I'm all for extra charges if they really are due to pullution etc, and to help save the planet, but for this to work, the Government needs to work on cleaner (both hygenically and ecconomically), cheaper public transport, and they need to do more to make smaller engined cars more acceptable (other than reducing road pricing for them, exemptions for congestion charging and cheaper tax bands would be nice (even cheper thanb they are already)). I'm interested to hear opinion on this from people all over the world. I'm sure there's been similar threads to this before, but it's high time we had another!

posted by  Cliffy

most of that was Greek to my, maybe you could give us an idea of how your tax system works.
As for taxes, I believe that people can make their own choices, they don't need the government encouraging them to do certain things. Why should there be gas guzzler taxes? if I can afford to pay for the gas, well good for me, I shouldn't have to pay more for it. Not that I could afford gas for a hummer, not that gas prices aren't bugging me, but let the fair market take care of it. If gas prices keep going up, Hybrids will be a more cost effective alternative, and eventually gas prices will go back down. Works the same way with the housing market around here. Of course gas prices are a little more painful, and effects many more people, but the price of gas will get more people to conserve than the government preaching to us.
Don't like the price of gas? Move closer to work, get a job closer to home, buy local produce, get on your bike, get a push mower:mrgreen:, use wood heat, add some insulation, don't start your car to warm it up in the morning, get a more efficient model, check your tire pressure, turn off the A/C, accelerate more gently, combine trips.... There are so many things that we could do by ourselves, we don't really need the government sticking their stick fingers in it.

posted by  dvdrose18

Our laws state that we have to tax our vehicles, and as an easy way of showing this, we must have a circle disc in the front windscreen. How much you paid used to be determined by the sized of the engine alone. Up to 1.4-litres was around £60 per 6 months or £100pa, above 1.4-litre used to be £99 per six months or £160pa (I think I have that correct....). In the new order of things it's done mainly on emissions, so if you have a small car that's good in that way, fine, however, alot of older cars (not much older though) would find themselves in the higher tax bracket (anything up to £400pa...I'm guessing it would be just over half that for six monthly).

I'm not sure how diesels are branded though. Diesel fuel alone is much more costly than petrol, so if the tax bands are now most costly too, it probably won't be worthwhile running a diesel anymore (it used to be the other way around in the UK). The bottom line here from my point of view is, yes, the Government could probably justify taxing larger SUVs £400pa because over here most are only used around town, and most users of big SUVs (especially the Range Rovers etc) could either afford the £400 for road taxing, or could afford to down-grade to a smaller, more environmentally friendly vehicle. One of the obvious downsides though, is that some people (farmers etc), have a genuine need for such vehicles. I think I covered most of the points here now, lol.

posted by  Cliffy

I don't like the idea of the government getting in our lives too much, but when you buy a "gas guzzler" you're not the only one paying more. If you need more gasoline, but the supply stays the same, guess what happens? The price goes up for all of us. Even if I never used a drop of oil in my life, I'd still have to pay more for my goods. This discourages people from buying cars they don't need and lowers the taxes for people who buy normal cars.

I'd say that the amount of people in the car/truck should be considered as well for fairness (a Hummer with 5 adults is more effecient than a Prius with 1), but that would get complicated. If I bought a new car and was charged the tax, I'd write the check and be done with it. I'm (minimally) raising the costs of pretty much everything for other people by buying this car, might as well give some back.

Back to what Cliffy said though, around Boston they have the "T", basically the best way to get around the city. The Massachusetts Transit Authority runs the system of trains, busses, and subways. Given the hard task of finding a parking spot in downtown Boston, and the fact that it can easily cost $20 to park when you do find one, the T is pretty popular.

However, it could be more popular, obvious by the constant traffic throughout the city. If the system were made free there's no doubt people would be more likely to travel throughout the city, I'm guessing the money saved in road costs and the money made from a slight increase in business in downtown would nearly offset the cost to upgrade the system to suit more people.

posted by  giant016

Yeah, they are extremely high here too--last time they were this high was during the oil crisis in the 70's (after you factor inflation), but economists estimate that oil prices should actually be closer to $70 a barrel (as opposed to the $110 that they are now).

Expect them to go up in the next couple of months when refineries switch to their summer blends, but oil prices will probably go down soon.

posted by  chris_knows

Gas prices are nearly 4$ a gallon for unleaded.. its rediculious.

posted by  Jpos

They are a lot higher in Europe--in England, where Cliffy lives, it would cost you $8.26 U.S. dollars to buy one gallon of gas...

posted by  chris_knows

Yea, the way the economy is right now we are probably just seeing the best of it as from the estimates that they say it could even rise even more. Which heaven-forbid it will not.

posted by  Guru

its 3.50 for regular down here

posted by  99integra

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