You don't pay road tax!

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Les Reay
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You don't pay road tax!

Postby Les Reay » 1 Feb 2008, 9:17pm

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but perhaps somebody could help me with a suitable reply to the damning accusation that I don't pay road tax therefore have no right to cycle on the road.

Last summer, I returned to the UK to tour around Scotland. I needed to get round Newcastle, and had to turn right at a junction. As I waited at the lights in the centre of the lane, a Neanderthal type in a Fiesta behind me pulled forward around the narrow space on my inside then turned in, physically pushing me out of the way. His passenger window was open and I shouted – what the hell are you doing, and the reply was the usual nonsense about not paying road tax etc.

I'd be grateful if somebody could compose a suitable short reply to this for the next time it happens.

I've thought since about what would be the best thing to say. My own effort at the time had the merit of being succinct and to the point but could have provoked an incident. The driver tried to unseat me by pulling away then braking sharply after the lights turned to green, before roaring off. So if 'foxtrot oscar, you stupid charlie' is inappropriate, then what is a suitable retort?

I wondered about using irony – gosh, you're right! Look, I'll pass the word around the cycling organisations and you tell customs to stop all the foreign traffic from coming in!

What we need is a simple, tabloid sort of reply that Fiesta drivers and others of limited intellect can grasp. Any suggestions?

handcyclist
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Postby handcyclist » 1 Feb 2008, 9:37pm

Sadly I don't think there is a reply for Mr Knucklehead.

Even financial journalists (are you listening Mr O'Grady?) can sometimes labour under the impression that roads are paid for by motorists rather than out of general taxation.

A smile is the best you can do.

Chill, and think of a peaceful thing.
Last edited by handcyclist on 2 Feb 2008, 11:04am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 1 Feb 2008, 9:42pm

Someone on here said that cyclists pay the same Road Tax as anyone else that drives a Zero Emissions Vehicle - nothing!
Mick F. Cornwall

nigel_s
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Postby nigel_s » 1 Feb 2008, 9:54pm

Well, there's this:
http://www.citycycling.co.uk/issue29/issue29page13.html
But as has been said, many people believe the spurious argument about "road tax". I once had to take a local county councillor to task when he talked about cyclists being "guests" on roads that "motorists pay for". I didn't get a reply when I asked him what the annual highway maintenance budget was for the organisation that he was a member of, and what percentage of the council tax precept that represented.

And then there's this:
http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/vedSearch.asp
Note the cost of Band A. As has been said - the rate is exactly the same for a cycle.

Seeing as cycling is more efficient than walking, it follows that a cyclist emits less CO/km than a walker... :shock: ...perhaps cyclists should be paid to ride... now there's a thought!

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 1 Feb 2008, 10:07pm

The factually correct answer is 'You don't pay road tax either - it was abolished years ago.' OK in the usual pub debate but utterly useless in a road rage incident. I speak as one who has had his share of exchanges of views with drivers but in the end they are in charge of a lethal weapon and best ignored, but that is much easier said than done.

yaxu
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Postby yaxu » 1 Feb 2008, 11:01pm

I have replied "yes I do". Actually, I don't have a car, but the otherwise fine arguments above would get lost in translation.

eileithyia
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Postby eileithyia » 2 Feb 2008, 8:02am

A friend always had a good reply, yes he did on 10 cars! Through his business!

Just say yes you do, they do not know if you have a car at home or not.
They probably hadn't paid car excise duty either!!!!!!

I pay excise duty on my car and it gives me the freedom of choice; to use my car or eave it at home whilst I use my bike.

Geriatrix
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Postby Geriatrix » 2 Feb 2008, 8:36am

Do you own a car?
If so, you do pay road tax. Point out that every time you use your bike it's displacing a car journey so can you have a rebate on your car tax?

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Les Reay
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Postby Les Reay » 2 Feb 2008, 9:59am

Thanks, all, for the info.

You are right, a friendly smile would be the best answer but this kind of ignorance makes me want to bite chunks out of the side of the car.
My own situation is slightly complicated by living outside of the UK, and I don't own a car now, but like thousands of other 'tourists', I spend quite a lot, even when I tour exclusively by bike.

The websites contain a clear breakdown of the situation.

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 2 Feb 2008, 10:40am

Les

From the tone of your posts, you sound as though you feel a bit guilty that you don't pay vehicle excise duty. Roads are paid for out of general taxation - if the taxpayer's return were in proportion to their contribution, boozers and smokers would get all sorts of publicly funded treats. As a cyclist on the road, you owe nobody anything. At all, at all.

(I was in the newsagent paying my bill the other day and the man in front of me shelled out £35-00 on the lottery - I live in South Leeds, not Mayfair. When I expressed amazement - after he had left - the newsagent said some people regularly paid a lot more. I'm all for it. The more people who pay this voluntary income tax the better.)

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 2 Feb 2008, 10:52am

I agree with the "voluntary income tax" argument! Let them pay it!

As for VED, and general taxation, it's council tax as well.

Talking of which, no doubt loads of you are suffering with snow, we had a smattering on Dartmoor, and it was thickly frosty here in the valley this morning.

Yesterday, I was driving the Community Bus in and out of Tavistock. The Devon gritters were out, but not the Cornish. The road from Tavistock to the border was wet and greasy and filthy, but the road from the bridge into Cornwall was damp, but clean. The irony of this, is that whilst the gritter was spending the hard-earned dosh of the Devon rate-payers, it was raining!

Why didn't the gritter chappy just phone in and say he was doing a pointless job? Not his problem, I suppose.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Les Reay
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Postby Les Reay » 2 Feb 2008, 10:56am

Not really guilty - I was just stuck for a short and convincing reply to the accusation, which came with the usual smug self-righteousness.

stoobs
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Postby stoobs » 2 Feb 2008, 11:06am

As I posted on another thread, my answer is "You're wrong. Yes, I do". No more argument. This is not a rational argument, so it doesn't need factual accuracy and quting VED v road tax v engine capacity (How much time do you spend alongside this fools?)

Also, with the type of people who normally make this kind of argument, it seems that there is some kind of status thing going on. So, especially with a Fiesta owner, you can point out that your bike is worth more than their tin can, and that every one of your three cars (make it up as you go along) is also worth more than their junk. This does not engeneder anger on their part, it makes them feel inadequate and gives them food for thought.

Kirst
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Postby Kirst » 2 Feb 2008, 11:32am

Maybe you should just try "your mother" and cycle off.
I can handle bars and cycle paths but I can't handle cars and psychopaths

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/notinmyname

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professorlandslide
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Postby professorlandslide » 2 Feb 2008, 1:28pm

How about 'well you should pay w8nk3r tax!'*

Probably not very helpful.. :D There's never going to be an argument that will satisfy people like that, but a more rational argument would be something along the lines of 'no i pay council tax, which roads are paid for out of' but thats a bit long.. :D Or just a shout of 'Zero emissions, band A!' is more succinct.

*One of the monster raving looney party's election pledges was to remove all income tas and replace it with a 'total bstrd tax'. Best idea ever... :D