Cyclists Don’t Pay Tax!

The war against cyclists took a new turn at the end of 2016 when a petition was circulated asking that cyclists pay a road tax as well as covering themselves with insurance. As cycling has had a meteoric rise in popularity over the past 15 years, the war between that mode of transport and motor vehicles has escalated proportionally.

This petition was sent to the Prime Minister and suggested that cyclists pay insurance in case of accidents that are their fault and to contribute to a road tax for their use of public roads. Cyclists should be restricted to made to order cycling paths so that they do not endanger other road users and cause accidents. Failing that, they should at least have some sort of insurance that covers them when they collide with a stationery car.

A very well-known biking shop, Leisure Lakes Bikes, who deal in all types of bicycles and in particular  road bikes, replied with three valid reasons as to why cyclists should not be asked to pay a UK road tax.

  1. Is there still a UK Road Tax?

Politicians and government officials might find it hard to find where in the ledger books a ‘road tax’ appears. There has not been a road tax, as such, in the UK for many years. It’s the sort of bureaucratic solution to the petition which has gained quite a few thousand signatures in support. Hard to apply a road tax when one doesn’t exist.

Maybe there is some confusion with the Vehicle Excise Duty that motorists pay which is not really a Road Tax. The fight against a road tax was one that Winston Churchill fought in 1926. He won that battle as well as following ones that made great history. Road tax was abolished as a form of government collections in 1937.

  1. Can Cyclists pay the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)?

That payment is dependent on the engine size of the vehicle, the date the vehicle was registered the fuel type and just how much carbon dioxide is emitted.

If you want to apply that form of tax or Duty to a bicycle, then it might be hard to come up with answers to certain criteria about why the Duty is paid:

  • A bicycle’s engine is in the cyclist’s legs. So – no engine.
  • With no engine, there is no fuel used. Supplements and breakfast don’t count!
  • No working engine means no CO2 as an emission.

So, based on these results, applying a VED will be easy. £0 it is! By the way that is the VED charge for a Band A motorist.

  1. Cyclists Pay Taxes Already

All taxes paid to the government go into a central war chest that enables councils to make improvements and build many different things. Not just UK roads.

People using bicycles already pay those taxes as they are citizens of the UK. The government can spend the money on any public service as deemed necessary. Pretty much the same for all taxes collected.


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