Pay-as-you-go road-tax system proposed

AA president suggests motorists pay a penny or so for every mile travelled; fuel duty would drop to compensate

Drivers could pay for every mile they travel on the UK’s roads, according to a proposal put forward by the president of the AA, Edmund King, and his wife, economist Deirdre King.

The Kings’ plan would see cars having their mileage checked at MoT and service time, with drivers being charged somewhere in the region of 1p for each mile covered. Each car in the UK would be given an allowance of 3,000 free miles a year, with subsequent miles incurring the cost.

The proposal is purely theoretical for now, but has come to light after being submitted for the Wolfson Economics Prize. This annual competition asks “How can we pay for better, safer, more reliable roads in a way that is fair to road users and good for the economy and the environment?” If the Kings’ idea wins, they’ll be in for a prize of £250,000, as well as the prestige that would accompany any victory.

Despite its hypothetical nature, the plan has been thought through enough to yield some pragmatic details. Concessions would be given to those with disabilities or living in remote rural areas, while car dealers could offer “free mile” promotions, paying for 500 additional miles, for example, if a buyer goes for a specific car.

And while some may cry ‘extra taxation’, were the proposals to be introduced they should coincide with a reduction in fuel duty of around 10%. The plans would also address the fall in revenue brought about by the growing number of tax-exempt electric cars on the roads – a trend that only seems to be increasing.

Most Popular

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

New Volkswagen Passat set to launch in 2023
2023 Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
9 Sep 2021

New Volkswagen Passat set to launch in 2023

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
16 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks