Motorists paying the price

UK drivers pay almost four times as much in motoring taxes as is spent on roads, according to the AA president Edmund King.

The finding represents the highest ratio in Europe (with the exception of Malta).

The results are contained in a study commissioned by the FIA and show that there is a €107.9 billion surplus revenue in the EU in road transport taxes. Some €286.3 billion was collected in road transport taxes and charges in the EU excluding Cyprus in 2013. In that same year, governments only re-invested €178.4 billion into the road network.

Passenger car drivers, alone, contributed 71% of this amount, with a total €205.8 billion. While the revenue from road transport amounted to two to three per cent of national gross domestic product (GDP), the expenditure of governments averaged only 0.8% of GDP.

For the UK the cost coverage ratio (2013 figures) for passenger cars was 387%. The only country with a higher ratio is Malta (558%). Luxembourg (378%) and Bulgaria (368%) come close.

Speaking in Brussels, Edmund King, AA president, said, ‘This report clearly shows that European drivers are paying their way. UK drivers more than pay their way with almost the highest tax to road expenditure ratios in Europe.  Our message to the European Commissioner for Transport and perhaps more importantly, the UK Chancellor, is that UK drivers want a better deal without further taxation.’