According to new research by Ipsos Mori, three in five people have said they will support a pay-as-you-drive road pricing scheme if electric cars become the main type of vehicle.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is in favour of the scheme to offset a tax black hole when fuel duty and vehicle and excise duty based on emissions outputs are no longer applied to motorists.
MPs on the Transport Committee launched an official inquiry into zero-emission vehicles and road pricing a few weeks ago.
Ipsos Mori found that a quarter ‘strongly’ supported the concept of pay-as-you-drive road pricing, which is a massive shift when people were last polled with the same question in 2007.
In 2007, almost half opposed the idea in principle and only a third were supportive of the scheme. This time around, only 21 per cent are strongly against the idea.
In total, 911 adults were polled, while a further 102 interviews with ‘industry captains’ – the top 500 companies by turnover, and the top 100 by capital employed in the UK – were also recorded for the study.
Captains of industry were in greater support of road pricing than the public, with 82 per cent either supporting or strongly backing the scheme – ahead of the 62 per cent vote of confidence from the public.
Surprisingly, motorists were equally behind the concept of pay-as-you-drive charges; 60 per cent of vehicle owners supported the idea in principle and just 22 per cent were opposed.
Almost two thirds of the public said they would either strongly support or tend to support the introduction of schemes if all the revenues collected would be used to improve bus, train and tube services.
Similarly, the suggestion that schemes charging motorists would result in a greener and cleaner future improved the level of backing from survey respondents.
Ben Marshall, research director Ipsos Mori: ‘Media reports that the Chancellor is weighing up plans for a new national system with motorists paying directly to use Britain’s roads, have put road pricing back on the political agenda.
‘Public opinion will play an important role, just as it did in curbing previous ambitions to find a new way of funding the country’s roads.
‘The recent focus has been on a new scheme’s revenue-raising potential given a multi-billion ‘tax hole’ caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a move to electric cars.
‘But our survey shows that while both public and industry’s instincts are ‘pro’- the introduction of charging schemes in principle, practical implementation will matter.’
[Image: Source Shutterstock, December 2020]
Transport Committee Inquiry
The latest poll results were published on Monday following the Transport Committee’s call for evidence on road pricing, which was launched last week and is open until Wednesday 17 February.
Chair of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman MP, said: ‘The Government decision to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol, hybrid and diesel cars, recently announced in the ‘Ten Point Plan’ for a green industrial revolution, is considered a vital step along the UK’s path to net zero.
‘This inquiry will help us get into the details and practicalities of the policy and the financial implications.
‘A consequence of the transition to electric vehicles is a potential £40 billion annual fiscal black hole, due to the reduction in Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty. Something will have to change.
‘We will be exploring whether radical road pricing or ‘pay-as-you-drive’ schemes can offer a revenue-raising solution to this problem.
‘We will explore the practicalities of different schemes, the level of public support for them, and best practice from other countries.
‘We will also assess whether new technologies and pricing can both be utilised to incentivise consumer behaviour change, reduce congestion and promote active travel.’
Confirmation of the inquiry followed a Treasury report released last week that said tax revenues will plunge when motorists switch to electric vehicles.
It warned that it will be forced to increase other taxes or cut funding for services to compensate for the loss in taxes on polluting cars as well as fuel duty.
‘Over time the Government will need to consider how to offset these lost tax revenues – whether through adjustments to other taxes or reductions in government spending – so that the UK can reach net zero while maintaining the long-term health of the public finances.’
What do you think about this research and its findings? Are you one of the 60% of drivers that believes pay as you drive is the right option to replace lost tax income?
Let us know in the comments below.
Given that I live in a rural area and have no bus service, we would be really hard hit, and as Cumbria is so badly run with no joined up thinking ,we would be isolated.
We are similarly placed in our village ,; the minimal bus service was withdrawn as part of spending cuts and car is critical . The detail which is forgotten is having a charge per mile allows for the “small” increases to stealthily ease revenue. Also, as motorists we have paid for the present Third World quality infrastructure, so before tolling can be introduced, we need the Government to pay us before “road grabbing” that which we “own”.
There is more chance that Bozo will give a speech which is totally factually honest , than the road system is “bought”from us.
Not sure how they would measure each driver’s miles driven, but if by camera surveillance then the simple answer would be to charge only on major roads, leaving those in rural areas able to drive on local roads for free.
I for one would like to see this list of people that you asked to come to this conclusion and the exact area that you did it in, for I have spoken to people and they are against a charge like this,
Could not agree more this sounds like a load of rubbish to me .they could have put the tax on fuel and flat tax all electric cars 100 quid job done no technology just common sense .
I agree. I drive an ev but pay tax on my other vehicle. just let us pay tax rather than 0. say a base level for all vehicles of £120 a year that we can continue to pay by DD. increase according to whatever banding they wish. then again gov needs to live within its means. far more is generating in transport taxes than is spent on infrastructure.
Well, the “Captains of Industry” will be in favour as they can afford it or, more likely, the company will pay so it will not come out of THEIR pocket. Unlike the poor worker
If you go on their web page they seem to be champions of industry. meaning they are idiots that do not have a clue.
I don’t agree with road pay as you go until the goverment publish the cost involved of adding black box and unit charge per mile. The green cult have no sense of the real world
No problem they will be fitted to all new cars built 2022 by kind permission of the EU law which we have agreed to, that’s why my new car will be bought this year.
Ask the green numpty Brigade and you get 60%.
I highly doubt the authentication of the public to back this draconian rule of pay per mile when we don’t know any costs. All for the arty fatty green muppet mob
Yeah, because it will cost a bomb, ive not spoken to anyone else who thinks this is a good idea, 60%? What of, the green party?
Hahahaha – “arty fatty green muppet mob” (sic). I think you need to emigrate to another planet, Gary. Or are you in fact Trump, now that he’s got a bit more time on his hands? Climate deniers still clinging on for dear life, in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise…
How do you pay for your water, gas, electricity? Oh yes, that’ll be the “draconian rule” that is basically the equivalent of PPM. In other words, what you use, you pay for. Seems fair to most sane people.
Not quite, in order to ‘pay for what you use’ you have to pay a ‘ standing charge’ just to be a member of their compulsory club.
What is the sample size and how are they picked.I am surprised to hear this.
Until the network of charging stations is implemented in about 20 years and national grid system capable of charging millions of electric vehicles. It’s not going to happen.
I have no intention of buying or leasing an electric or hybrid car. MG zs £15k electric version £25k
So that’ll be a NO.
National Grid already admitted that they are far from ready for the EV revolution. It’s bad enough when everyone puts the kettle on after coronation street.
We’re all the people polled paying £500 plus a year in road tax, I’ll bet they are.
I’m sticking to my diesel thanks. Or my 13 litre truck which is euro 6 with zero/0 g/km people don’t realise or admit these new trucks are actually cleaner than cars.
Information they don’t want you to have.
Censorship sucks. Obviously the truth isn’t like by green numpty brigade. National grid won’t be ready until 2031 to have enough energy for EV chargers.
Not a good idea, the motorist will get ripped off as always, a large amount will go to other schemes,not to repairing the roads. I agree with Neil,a one of charge, this could possibly be greater the bigger, heavier the vehicle??
If we pay by our mileage on the roads for those of use not electric will we still be paying tax on our fuel, if so it’s just another rip off of the motorist again.
Living in Cornwall which has a rubbish bus service we have to use our car even to go shopping, were I live the Main Street is nonexistent no buses come anywhere near my home therefore we have to drive to Truro or Penzance and I live in a town not one of the many villages. Looks to me they picked the wrong people to survey. Let’s face it you can make a survey show the results the surveyor wants.
Your choice to live there.
Load of rubbish, did they survey anyone in Cornwall. My town has no shopping street everything is out of town shopping. Bus service is rubbish and expensive and does not service the surrounding villages.Truro is our nearest place to shop 9 miles away. Seems to me this survey was targeted to get the answer they wanted.
In the good old days there was a flat rate for all cars, with other rates for commercial vehicles depending on ULW, then we were nit with ‘global warming’, so some bright spark devised the sliding scales for the amount of pollution emitted, and we all know how these can be fiddled. Then came electric cars, what’s wrong with just one or two flat rates for them all depending on the size. Is that too complicated?
Just how big was this survey ? 10 people ?
Who knows. Somebody just trying to get a big ball rolling
3in 5 people ? ! ? Which 5 ‘hand selected’ people ? I’ve spoken (online) to more than 20 people and none of them were aware of any such survey. It shud be a national survey.
And even to a blind man it was obvious that with the advent of EV’s and the loss of Fuel duty Revenue that those new owners should have immeduately been charged per mile to use the same roads that I/C powered motorusts were paying towards. I’m sure every EV owner has been rubbing their hands with glee with all the money theyve saved. They should al be ‘back taxed’ to fill the black hole they made.
Rubbish! By the time you pay the ‘upfront premium’ for EV vs IC your so called savings will take you well in excess of 20yrs to ‘break even’ – then there is the cost of replacement batteries which have a limited life of
5 to 7 yrs.
And so the taxes of other necessities goes up to cover the 40 billion black hole if a pay as you drive scheme isn’t brought in which means that people that don’t drive suffer financially.
NO to Green full stop. No joined up thinking , just woke virtue signallers looking for pats on the back for “saving the world”…. What are the true costs of an electric car? Slave labour for 1 thing. Get rid of the clown Boris…I didn’t vote to go green .
this is not fare as we do not know how much the charges will be
Not in favour of paying for each mile I travel. I think its ridiculous, and depends on how much it will cost each mileage. You will price the low income people out of driving. What about people who live in the countryside and have to drive miles to shop etc.
We already have a pay as you drive tax system. Its called fuel tax.
I’m not in favour of this, mainly because of the side effects of the way in which it would be implemented. I do not support anything that results in the tracking of the whereabouts and driving habits of individuals.
Potentially, taxing people by how far they travel could be fair, but the fairest system is available to us now in the form of tax on fuels that are dispensed at a pump – if only we’d scrap road fund licensing.
The more energy you consume, the more you’re taxed – that’s the fairest system of all, especially when it doesn’t require any kind of geolocation data.
Road pricing seems the way to go however what about the people that have to travel a long way to work? They will be penalised more than other group’s.
Bonkers idea from people disconnected from the real world. How will those ‘captains of industry’ react when their employees refuse to commute and insist on working from home permanently. Of course, this will be an ADDITIONAL tax. Anyone who thinks the government is about to suddenly look on motorists as anything other than a cash point to extract yet more tax needs to be sent to the funny farm without delay!
I am strongly in favour of not taxing per mile my area the buses in the nearest town do not start till after 9am. I could not work and survive with public transport. Public transport is great for London but not us in villages. As we are the drives on this website they should do the same survey again. I bet the results would be different.
Maybe for electric cars but for petrol/diesel we already pay per mile via the heavy taxation on each litre of fuel we buy.
How can 911 adults polled give a real representation of the millions of drivers on the road. If that is what they base decisions on then we are in serious trouble as this will cost the poorest the most (not just in terms of money) and potentially cutting some people off from their families and communities!
Electric cars need taxing. They’re on average 25% heavier than their equivalent ICE powered cars & often have narrower “eco” tyres, so therefore will wear roads out faster than a conventional car. Pay as you go is only fair as why should high mileage drivers (I do 18k per year) pay the same as someone who only commutes short distances for essential trips. Successive governments have missed a trick here, 1p on a litre of fuel wouldn’t be noticed by the driver, yet would’ve brought in 4 times the revenue of VED, & again it’s self regulating. Less economical car, driving further, driving quicker you pay tax directly related to your use. It’s fair. Opportunity missed. Now we need complex, expensive technology introducing to do basically the same.
Pay as you go driving would mean even more monitoring of our movements. I wonder if a majority would still support what is after all a new tax, were the implicit invasion of privacy highlighted?
Who was the clown that brought in road tax changes based on emissions. It is the car in contact with the road that does the damage not the bloody exhaust. How much money have they lost over the years? I certainly wouldn’t want pay as you drive.
This is rubbish -it’s based on 60% of just 911 people – so just 546 people plus some “captains of industry” does not justify a claim that 60% of drivers support road pricing. Out of more than thirty drivers I’ve discussed this with, not one supports road pricing. Ipsos Mori should not be allowed to make ridiculous claims based on such a tiny poll, they are just publicity seeking or maybe pushing someone’s agenda…
With figures of 75p per mile being banded about a round trip from Manchester to London will cost £300 and that’s in one day. It’s cheaper to fly.
Totally against this form of taxation. More big brother technology, which coupled with smart speed cameras is yet another means of penalising motorists. Coupled with the pressure to convert to inadequate sewing machine cars that can’t travel a decent distance and then require lengthy periods to recharge (with costly pricing to come), we are a milk cow for the taxman.
Has anyone taken into account the VAT that electric users will pay for charging up their cars and the amount of electricity we will need for every car to be plugged into the network.?
What about all these users who live in houses where they cannot get their car near enough to plug in and the amount of leads there will be over pavements outside terraced houses?
There are going to be blackouts and a reduction of power in many areas.
that’s funny, I don’t know of a single person who supports it.
The more you use the roads the more you pay. Same as gas, electricity or water. Company high mileage drivers would pay the most. As long as the tax is balanced to previous tax takes and not used as a way of extracting more tax. If the tax is not kept on roads / cars then the Government will have to raise taxes in other areas.
Either way the public will have to pay sufficient tax to cover NHS and all public services. Sure, don’t pay tax and our way of life suffers. Fact, if everyone paid ALL the taxes they should we would have a surplus. That leads on to tax avoidance……..
Should be much simpler to tax to the energy used for charging.
Absolute nonsense charging per mile when there is no indication of the overhaul cost involved, just another cash cow for the Government. In relation to going green, I converted my car to LPG with zero emissions when tested and got a whopping £10 off my road tax.
Where is the government getting all this extra supply of electricity? Are they going to lay even more supply cables between us and Europe as the North Sea swamped with turbines ain’t gonna cut it. As usual the House of Lies says one thing and does another.
no i do not agree being a pensioner i will not be able to travel visit my family why should the electric cars get away without paying they are wearing the roads away just as much
Money goes towards bus, rail and tube sounds like most people asked were living in London and probably either don’t have a car or rarely use one.
Tell me if I am wrong, wasn’t Road Tax introduced years ago to all vehicles accept farm vehicles for maintaining the upkeep of our roads which has been terrible for a long time with pot holes causing damage and accidents to vehicles for a long time including me twice in East Sussex. Why should non emission vehicles not pay they are wearing the roads like all vehicles. As was said in the document’ what will happen when all vehicles are emission free ” adjust other taxes or reduce spending ” ? Another question, what have the government spent the Road Tax revenue on ???. I wonder if the proposed Drive Tax system would work ?
Nobody has asked me for my opinion!
Hi , Seems to work in South Africa . Charges are included in the fuel price . We often fallow their ideas 10 to 20 years later .
Oh please! a massive 911 people were asked? This really does need to be thought through. The poorest people like those in Cornwall (sorry folks, you’re just not as well paid as most of the country) will be hit hardest, as they HAVE to use their cars.
There are better ways to recover the cost of the virus, but here is not the right place to explain.
JOKE JOKE JOKE when are we going to get anyone in the government with more than 3 brain cells and a modicum of common sense.
Why were some cars zero rated in the first place ?? I never agreed with it. They still cause wear and tear to the roads and still avail themselves to the services such as street lighting, road signs etc. Yes maybe they should have paid a lower rate but there should never have been zero rating. The danger is that road pricing will become another rip off with people paying far more than they used to in road tax. That would be unbearable for people living in remote areas who have little choice but to drive and also for pensioners on much lower incomes. What about petrol / diesel vehicles classified as veteran, vintage and classic ??? They are very small in number and rarely go out and are our vehicle heritage. Are they to be banned ? I hope not, that would be excessive and unnecessary. The amount of pollution they cause is so small as to be an irrelevance. The average family car does 10 to 12k miles per annum, lets say the average car is taxed at £250 pa. That means to replace the tax with road pricing it should be no more than £0.02 to £0.025 per mile. Would that happen ? I wouldn’t bet on it.
If charging per mile was to be made cost neutral to the motorist for, say, 10000 miles then lower mileage drivers would benefit and it would encourage less car use. I don’t like the idea of a black box though – spy in the cab.
If people are really serious about reducing greenhouse gases as opposed to revenue raising, the clear solution is for everyone to work towards reducing the amount of commuting. I suspect that a good proportion of desk jobs, which seem to compromise a larger proportion of the workforce every year, could be done from home, done in a location far closer to home, or even may have no real purpose at all.
We have millions of people sat in cars, trains and other transport for hours every day of the week being completely unproductive, yet we have found from lockdowns that this commercial desk driving sector has not been as badly affected by lockdown as those doing real front line jobs.
As for road pricing, the idea is good in principle but if that means that all our motorways and main roads have huge infrastructures every few miles to collect money from or record vehicle passes, then I’m against it, especially as we all know that we can’t do this to every road, so minor roads will get clogged up with those trying to avoid the charges, and the ‘captains of industry’ will have empty main roads to use and add the cost to their expense accounts.
It would be fairer as my mileage of 7k is a lot less then many – which means at present I subsidise them.
It is a good norm that you pay for what you use .
It would be a fairer system as you pay for what you use. If you chose to live a long drive from work / shops then someone has to pay for the road. If you chose to use the bus / train then why pay a fixed rate vehicle tax.
Someone who drives 3k miles a year is subsidising them that drive many more ( like when I was doing 85k a year) which is certainly not a fair system.