AA/Populus Panel

82% agree that road tax is being used as a stealth tax

11 September 2008

a car tax disc

More than 80% of AA members agree that road tax is being used as a stealth tax, according to the AA Populus panel of 15,306 members.

The AA president wrote to the Chancellor in July requesting that the "retrospective" nature of Vehicle Excise Duty for cars registered between 2001-2006 should be scrapped.

The Chancellor has been told that this is a growing issue of concern for AA members. A "retrospective" tax does not send out a signal but hits many motorists who cannot afford to change their vehicles. Whist 70% of motorists agree that a tax system based on CO2 will influence the type of cars bought there is confusion and lack of information about the system.

Three quarters of motorists agree that by "backdating" the charges the value of some used cars will be damaged and people will keep older cars longer.

We'd like to hear your views about the VED changes

The AA's president will shortly meet with Treaasury officials to discuss ongoing confusion and concern about the cost and consequences of the proposed new road tax bands.

We'd like to hear your views so that we can inform the minister.

Email us at: publicaffairs@theaa.com



The results sent to the Chancellor show:

  • 35% do not understand the new system of VED
  • 70% agree that having a VED system based on CO2 will influence the type of car purchased
  • 59% disagree that all cars registered from 2001 should be subject to the new tax system
  • 56% say the new system for post 2001 cars should be stopped (22% neither agree nor disagree, 19% think it should go ahead)
  • 58% have not seen information about changes relevant to post 2001 cars
  • 82% agree that road tax is being used as a stealth tax
  • 35% agree that the new showroom tax will make a difference to the types of cars people buy, 48% disagree
  • 77% agree that backdating the road tax changes will damage the value of some used cars meaning that people will keep older cars for longer.

AA comment

AA President Edmund King Commenting on the results, AA president Edmund King, said;

"Over 80% of motorists now see road tax as a "stealth tax" and we have called it a mean tax rather than a green tax. We believe that the retrospective nature of the tax increases for cars registered between 2001 and 2006 should be scrapped before it becomes a '10p tax on wheels'.

"The Government should also provide more user-friendly information to inform car buyers of changes to VED over the next two years. Our concern is that people may be buying cars today that they may not know will fall into much higher bands in 2009 and 2010.

"TheAA.com website has had a record number of hits with motorists desperately trying to find out how proposed changes to the VED system will affect them.

"Even though the public and indeed the AA accept that a tax system based on CO2 can influence the choice of vehicle, there is confusion, mistrust and lack of information about the proposals.

"If the retrospective increases in tax go ahead in 2009/2010 then there is the possibility that many motorists might be driving to the polls still fuming from excessive tax increases to the cars they bought before these tax changes were proposed."

Regional breakdown

  • Older drivers and those in Northern Ireland were less likely to think a CO2 based tax system is likely to influence the type of vehicle bought
  • Drivers in NE, Scotland and N Ireland were most likely to think that cars registered from 2001 should not be subject to the new VED changes
  • Males,older drivers (65+) and those from the North West were most likely to strongly agree that road tax is being used as a stealth tax
  • Drivers in the south West were least likely to agree that the new tax system should be stopped (53%)
  • Drivers in the South were most likely to agree that the "showroom tax" will not make any difference to the types of car people drive

Factfile

Populus received 15,306 responses from AA members to its online poll between 4 and 16 July 2008

AA Public Affairs

 

11 September 2008