Drivers could see pay-per-mile taxes coming in sooner than they think - 'Unavoidable policy'

pay-per-mile protest

Tax scheme would replace the current Vehicle Excise Duty

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 11/07/2024

- 15:32

Updated: 11/07/2024

- 15:35

The pay-per-mile scheme hopes to level up the tax system

Drivers in the UK could see the pay-per-mile tax scheme come into effect sooner than expected.

As Labour take over the Government, one expert has warned this could see a change to the way drivers are taxed.

The Environment and Transport Association raised concerns that road pricing is increasingly seen as an “unavoidable policy”.

Although there has been no official confirmation as to whether a new tax scheme could come into effect, a string of suspicious behaviour has triggered panic among drivers.

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Standstill traffic on a main road in London

Social media comments showed DfT minister in favour of pay-per-mile scheme


In a series of now-deleted posts, Michael Dnes, a senior official in the Department for Transport detailed how the Government could painlessly introduce road pricing.

The posts were in response to questions about how electric cars could be fairly taxed in line with petrol and diesel cars.

Dnes previously wrote: “The obvious answer is to find another tax so electric motorists keep paying their share.

“But electric vehicles don’t use special electricity that you can tax. And a purchase or a registration tax won’t restrain gridlock.”

He continued: “So you need some kind of per-mile cost. And that leads you back to road pricing.

“The principle is you pay a small fee for every mile you drive. Just like you effectively do through fuel taxes today.

“In the fancier versions, you adjust the prices so you pay less on empty roads and more on busy ones.”

The posts which were up earlier this week have since been deleted with the account now private.

Pay-per-mile road tax is a proposed system which would replace the current Vehicle Excise Duty.

Under the measures, it would see drivers pay tax based on the number of miles they drive each year instead of paying a lump sum.

However previous attempts to introduce the scheme were met with heavy public outcry with a petition garnering 1.8 million signatures against the idea.

ETA warned that advocacy for road pricing carries “substantial political risks” as it is often portrayed as a “war on motorists”.


Car tax finePay-per-mile would tax drivers on the number of miles they travel each yearPA

The association added: “Given the cultural significance of driving in the UK, policies perceived as restricting or penalising motorists are particularly contentious.

“Politics aside, implementing a road pricing scheme will involve significant logistical, technological, and administrative challenges.”

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