The last few days there is a fuss going on in Belgium because of the start of a test of a pay per kilometer system for cars. No problem what so ever, but…
The only taxes to use a car depends on the time and the type of road you’re using and will cost between 0,025 EUR and 0,09 EUR per kilometer. In other words: with this systems it doesn’t matter what car you drive and how you drive it, but just the fact that you are in a car on a certain road at a certain time.
In my opinion it’s smarter to implement a system that benefits the ones who, when they drive, use an eco-friendly car and / or drive style. To accomplish a low fuel consumption you have to drive slower, think ahead in traffic and so drive more safely.
My proposition is rather simple. Relate all costs involving in using a car (i.g. road taxes, environmental costs,…) to the fuel you buy, in best of worlds there is also a difference between petrol and diesel. (Insurance might stay a car related thing, but why not also relate this cost to the fuel cost?) Someone who uses less fuel is someone who uses his car less, will use an eco-friendly car, will drive slower and will therefore probably have less accidents! On the other side, when you drive a lot in city centers, during rush hour and in an aggressive style, your fuel consumption will increase.
The indicated prices per kilometer that are used in the test will in my opinion also stimulate the use of big cars with huge engines (‘what the f*ck, if I’ll have to pay 0,09 EUR/KM, I want a decent engine’). After doing some research / maths, it appeared that in the new system it would hardly make any difference if you would use a small hatchback instead of a Porsche 911 Turbo!
All good for me as a biker, but please invest the extra tax money in bike facilities, public transport, mentality chance, less road rage, better air quality, other car alternatives,… Otherwise this system is a huge increase in tax, applied on those with little fuel consuming cars.
Figures taken from: www.deautogids.be