Drivers reject ‘pay as you drive’ scheme

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% of motorists it surveyed agreed with its introduction, whilst 38% 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%), followed by the introduction of charges at currently free public EV charging points (32%). 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%), was the third.

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.”

She continued: “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 short-fall 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.”