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Potential fuel duty increase

Why are motorists furious? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/09/11/chancellor-hints-fuel-dut

Didn't find your answer?

It has been frozen for absolutely ages. Also, with so many fuel inefficient cars around (large 4x4s etc.) and most people exceeding a c60 mph fuel efficient speed on motorways etc. I am truly baffled by this assertion, especially as most motorists can probably save at least a quarter of their annual petrol/diesel bill by simply driving more sensibly in more sensible cars (and limiting unnecessary car journeys by walking/cycling more).

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/09/11/chancellor-hints-fuel-du...

 

 

Replies (53)

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By Justin Bryant
12th Sep 2018 15:36

Furthermore, the extra tax is earmarked for a very good cause (not to mention the reduced CO2 emissions etc.). Also, at least this particular tax can in general be reasonably controlled by the taxpayer as above (if they want to drive fuel inefficiently then that's their choice), unlike an income tax etc. increase (especially if you're on PAYE like most people). It's all truly baffling to me.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Sep 2018 13:36

Justin Bryant wrote:

Furthermore, the extra tax is earmarked for a very good cause (not to mention the reduced CO2 emissions etc.). It's all truly baffling to me.

Have you not learned yet that there is no "ear-marking" ?

You're confusing ear-marking with political rhetoric.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Justin Bryant
12th Sep 2018 13:37

Agreed, but I'm sure you get my point here nonetheless.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Sep 2018 13:47

Up to a point but some folk, particularly in the country, have a genuine requirement for 4 x 4s.

I'd just ban them from urban areas. Road tax in the £000s, 100% IPT, should cut down the demand a little.

If you live in the city and want a 4 x 4, you'd have to park it on the outskirts of the city and drive home in a sensible car.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Justin Bryant
12th Sep 2018 13:58

Agreed. I see so many large 4x4s (or flashy fuel hungry cars with more than one exhaust pipe) in my local (urban) supermarket car parks that it's simply getting ridiculous now. It's similar to people who wastefully boil a full kettle each time they make one cup of tea and yet complain of 5% VAT on electricity.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By Mr_awol
12th Sep 2018 17:41

Justin Bryant wrote:

flashy fuel hungry cars with more than one exhaust pipe

To be fair, I cant remember the last time I had a car with less than two exhaust pipes - do they still make them?

I'd say two is the new one, and four is the new flashy.

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By alan.rolfe
12th Sep 2018 14:10

I don't understand. Surely fuel has always cost £10.

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Replying to alan.rolfe:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Sep 2018 14:10

I remember it being 4/6 a gallon.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Cloudcounter
12th Sep 2018 14:47

My first lesson in upselling when I worked on the pumps as a schoolboy. If someone asked for four gallons of Regular (Two star in today's money) we asked if they wanted to round it up to £1. Mind you, it had gone up to 4/10 by then.

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Replying to Cloudcounter:
David Winch
By David Winch
12th Sep 2018 16:30

Nostalgia time. I used on occasion to help out at my aunt's petrol station. There was just one pump. Petrol was 4/10 per gallon. The pump had a handle on the front to pull from side to side to pump the petrol (no fancy electric pump here!).
Anything over 4 gallons was a bit tiring .....
David

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By Accountant A
12th Sep 2018 14:52

I agree with Justin. I want things I don't do to be more heavily taxed.

For example, I think tax rates should increase in proportion to Body Mass Index.

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By Justin Bryant
12th Sep 2018 16:53

Also, how many of these so-called furious motorists have you actually met (I have never met one such person in my entire life, let alone my entire career - I have met plenty of irate people down the pub however complaining about continuous tax increases in booze & so on). It all looks a bit dubious to me and (apart from the likes of highly (if not proudly) irresponsible people such as Jeremy Clarkson perhaps) is probably mostly political lobbying from the usual suspects. Possibly it's just a case of the Telegraph being generally anti-tax.

It is also a good tax in that it is easy and cheap to collect and hard to dodge.

Incidentally my only memory of anyone being shocked by petrol prices was when it hit 80p per gallon in the mid 1970s (possibly to do with the oil crisis then), but people soon got used to that I recall.

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By Tax Dragon
12th Sep 2018 17:31

What’s a gallon?

I misread the headline as “to raise fuel duty for the NHS”. Which is a great idea… rob Peter to pay Peter and then point out how much more you're giving Peter now.

They probably already do that, come to think of it.

(But I seem to be misreading everything this week. I need a holiday.)

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Sep 2018 18:15

Tax Dragon wrote:

What’s a gallon?

It's one tenth of the volume occupied by a cowboy hat.

Or the volume occupied by 10lb of water at 4ºC.

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By Mr_awol
12th Sep 2018 17:50

I don't agree that it's so easy to avoid. In fact it's near on impossible to avoid if you factor in the cost of transporting goods and food. Unless you live completely self-sufficiently and wear clothes made entirely from your home grown hemp stash that is.

I think income tax is probably fairer - although politically less attractive. I'm sure I could cope with an increase in tax above a certain threshold (as long as the threshold was a few quid more than my own earnings, of course).

Maybe do away with class 2 NIC and increase class 4? ;)

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Accountant A
12th Sep 2018 18:36

Mr_awol wrote:

I don't agree that it's so easy to avoid. In fact it's near on impossible to avoid if you factor in the cost of transporting goods and food. Unless you live completely self-sufficiently and wear clothes made entirely from your home grown hemp stash that is.

It affects people outside London and the South East who aren't getting the benefit of massive (per capita) public transport infrastructure spend.

https://www.ippr.org/news-and-media/press-releases/new-transport-figures...

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By Mr_awol
13th Sep 2018 09:21

Accountant A wrote:

Mr_awol wrote:

I don't agree that it's so easy to avoid. In fact it's near on impossible to avoid if you factor in the cost of transporting goods and food. Unless you live completely self-sufficiently and wear clothes made entirely from your home grown hemp stash that is.

It affects people outside London and the South East who aren't getting the benefit of massive (per capita) public transport infrastructure spend.

https://www.ippr.org/news-and-media/press-releases/new-transport-figures...

1) No, as stated, it affects everyone who buys goods or food that has to be transported by road
2) That article is ridiculous. Apart from the many reasons for disparity in transport spending, the use of phrases like 'nearly five times more than' (when 'almost five times as much' would have been accurate) betrays the level of understanding of the writer.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Accountant A
13th Sep 2018 12:08

Mr_awol wrote:

2) That article is ridiculous. Apart from the many reasons for disparity in transport spending, the use of phrases like 'nearly five times more than' (when 'almost five times as much' would have been accurate) betrays the level of understanding of the writer.

What "reasons for disparity in transport spending"? That's the point, there are disparities and if you live in the sticks with no public transport, you have to use your own vehicle and pay whatever fuel duty is charged. Meanwhile, elsewhere, public money is being used to improve public transport. I know nothing about the IPPR's research record but I believe they have some credibility.

If you want to critique the details, feel free but just saying it's "ridiculous" is like the sort of mindless comment you see on Twitter.

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By Mr_awol
14th Sep 2018 03:02

What reasons? Other than population density, regional variations in cost, proximity to existing ifrasrtructure, cost:benefit ratios or the simple fact that the greater per head cost of maintaining an existing system will often be considerably less than the cost of implementing that system elsewhere from scratch?

Or you can carry on with the simplistic comparison of ‘they get more than me it’s not fair’

TBH you continue to miss (or ignore) the point of my post which is that we all pay the duty indirectly because we all buy stuff that’s travelled by the road and that costs to the freight system will inevitably be passed on through the chain until they reach consumers.

Even if you insist on comparing public transport availability the doesn’t add anything - I live in the sticks myself but I don’t expect the same spend per head on public transport as London or Manchester! The research may very well produce accurate data but the article is still poorly written

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Justin Bryant
14th Sep 2018 09:53

I think the indirect cost of higher things in the shops argument is a bit specious. For example for a lorry carrying, say, 5,000 cans of baked beans a 5p per litre tax increase will have a negligible effect on the cost per can and if the lorry driver simply drove at a maximum 58 mph instead of say, 65 mph (and went on a fuel efficiency training course for when driving in towns etc. i.e. avoiding rapid acceleration etc.), then that increased fuel efficiency would probably more than offset the 5p per litre tax increase.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
14th Sep 2018 10:06

Justin Bryant wrote:

I think the indirect cost of higher things in the shops argument is a bit specious. For example for a lorry carrying, say, 5,000 cans of baked beans a 5p per litre tax increase will have a negligible effect on the cost per can and if the lorry driver simply drove at a maximum 58 mph instead of say, 65 mph (and went on a fuel efficiency training course for when driving in towns etc. i.e. avoiding rapid acceleration etc.), then that increased fuel efficiency would probably more than offset the 5p per litre tax increase.

Have you not noticed that all lorries are limited to 56mph anyway? Fuel costs are a massive issue to anyone doing bulk road transport. Probably the biggest single cost. They do everything they can to keep the costs down. Saying, "It isn't much for a single can of beans" is pretty specious. Increased fuel transport costs feed directly back into the cost of everything. Most of the cost of hydrocarbon transport fuel is duty and taxes.

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Replying to TomMcClelland:
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By Justin Bryant
14th Sep 2018 10:56

I did wonder about that, but since when I drive at 58 mph on the motorway I am always being overtaken by large lorries (and coaches and basically everything else) I assume that speed restriction is ineffective for one reason or another. Try it yourself and you'll see I'm right, but I am happy to be proved wrong.

Also, I see plenty of inefficiently driven lorries etc. in general pretty much all the time.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
By Ruddles
14th Sep 2018 10:58

Justin Bryant wrote:
I did wonder about that, but since when I drive at 58 mph on the motorway

So you're one of the guilty drivers? I understand that 70 is a limit and not a target, but drivers who insist on driving at speeds significantly below the limit are infuriating. And before you get all holier than thou on me, the odometer on my car proves that it (ie that particular car) is more fuel-efficient when cruising at 75 (which in reality is probably less than 70) than it is at lower speeds.
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Replying to Ruddles:
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By Justin Bryant
14th Sep 2018 11:36

Why am I not surprised about that. You need to drive slower and read the links below (it is physically impossible to get more fuel efficient as your speed increases above around 60 mph due to the effect of wind resistance):

https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/fuel-efficient-driving/

https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-aerodynamics-affect-fuel-efficiency

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
By Ruddles
14th Sep 2018 12:06

I don't 'need' to drive slower. Unless my car is lying to me, I'll rely on the empirical evidence.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
RLI
By lionofludesch
14th Sep 2018 12:13

Justin Bryant wrote:

Why am I not surprised about that. You need to drive slower and read the links below (it is physically impossible to get more fuel efficient as your speed increases above around 60 mph due to the effect of wind resistance):

Personally, I'd rather use an extra couple of pints of fuel than get run over by a wagon driver texting his girl friend.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
14th Sep 2018 12:33

Justin Bryant wrote:

I did wonder about that, but since when I drive at 58 mph on the motorway I am always being overtaken by large lorries (and coaches and basically everything else) I assume that speed restriction is ineffective for one reason or another. Try it yourself and you'll see I'm right, but I am happy to be proved wrong.

Also, I see plenty of inefficiently driven lorries etc. in general pretty much all the time.


I already know that you're wrong about that. It sounds as if either your car speedo isn't accurate, or you have a fevered imagination.

If you drive at 58mph on any European road on you certainly aren't "always being overtaken by lorries". I drive a 7.5t horsebox myself and like all other lorries in the EU above 3.5t it is limited to 56mph by a governor, by law. Very occasionally another lorry *creeps* past me slightly faster, at what would be maybe 57-58mph on *my* indicator, because its limiter is set slightly higher. When that happens I slow down by 1-2mph so that they can get by me and pull back in to the left lane. Likewise I sometimes pass another lorry because its limiter is set slightly lower than mine. The limiters are mechanical devices with a little variation and not having it operating correctly is a serious driving offence.

Busses are not subject to the same limits. They can go at 70mph so of course they do, because they are competing with trains to carry people between cities. Also the very tiny number of lorries more than about 25 years old (can't remember the exact date)are exempt from having a limiter. These are commercially extremely rare because lorries are worked very hard.

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Replying to TomMcClelland:
By Ruddles
14th Sep 2018 12:59

We all know that Justin does tend to suffer from a fevered imagination but in this case I suspect that it's down to speedo inaccuracy. It is well-established fact (and proven in the case of my own car) that speedos typically show a speed of up to 10% greater than ground speed, with a number of responsible factors. Now, I don't profess to know how limiters work, but if they do work based on real speed then it stands to reason that Justin might be fooled into thinking a vehicle doing 56 is doing more than 58.

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Replying to Ruddles:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
14th Sep 2018 22:16

Agreed. My AWD Mini Countryman tends to show (above say 40) a read circa 10% higher than my Garmin satnav shows. It is my first counter evidence to my wife when she claims I am driving too fast per the car speedo.

Then again I drive a diesel so I suspect I am beyond the pale.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
14th Sep 2018 13:43

Justin Bryant wrote:

I did wonder about that, but since when I drive at 58 mph on the motorway I am always being overtaken by large lorries (and coaches and basically everything else) I assume that speed restriction is ineffective for one reason or another. Try it yourself and you'll see I'm right, but I am happy to be proved wrong.

Also, I see plenty of inefficiently driven lorries etc. in general pretty much all the time.

Incidentally as a lorry driver I can state that easily the most annoying and seemingly dangerous drivers on the road are car drivers proceeding on clear motorways or dual carriageways at less than the limiter speed of a lorry (56mph). It is worst on dual carriageways because the lorry has to create a moving road block to pass them by moving into the overtaking lane. If you're being frequently passed by lorries then you are creating a lot of frustration, which is of course your right to do so. But it really isn't necessary. At 58-60 almost no lorry will ever pass you. They can't, however powerful the lorry is and however much the driver presses with his right foot.

If you then pass a lorry because you're 1-2mph faster than it, it is considerate (if road conditions permit it safely), in a car, to briefly take your speed up to 70 until you're back in the left lane.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By Mr_awol
14th Sep 2018 13:15

Justin Bryant wrote:

I think the indirect cost of higher things in the shops argument is a bit specious. For example for a lorry carrying, say, 5,000 cans of baked beans a 5p per litre tax increase will have a negligible effect on the cost per can and if the lorry driver simply drove at a maximum 58 mph instead of say, 65 mph (and went on a fuel efficiency training course for when driving in towns etc. i.e. avoiding rapid acceleration etc.), then that increased fuel efficiency would probably more than offset the 5p per litre tax increase.

I have (and have had) several clients in the haulage industry - the smallest operating a single lorry, the largest running dozens of trucks.

The last one I looked at was spending 40% of revenue on fuel and oil.

If you think a 5p increase on fuel doesn't affect the haulage industry, or that it doesn't roll down onto prices on the shelves, or that truckers dealing with fresh produce can just 'slow down a bit' and save money then you are off your rocker. Regardless of delivery timetables, return loads and other implications of 'slowing down' it just wont give the savings you think it will anyway.

An articulated lorry will return less than ten miles per gallon. Even the most fuel efficient trucks are lucky to get 15mpg (and that's the small ones at about 7.5t).

Many HGVs are already fitted with electronic devices to monitor the vehicle and/or the driver and constantly track fuel efficiency. Automatic gearboxes are now the norm so drivers cant over-rev the engine. Everything is carefully calculated to squeeze every last mile from each tank of fuel.

You cant just take what (you think) you know about car driving and assume it applies to the haulage industry.

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Replying to Accountant A:
By SteLacca
14th Sep 2018 08:56

Accountant A wrote:

Meanwhile, elsewhere, public money is being used to improve public transport.

That may be the case in London. Those of us up North only see increasingly ageing public transport and failing management across the spectrum.

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Replying to Accountant A:
RLI
By lionofludesch
14th Sep 2018 09:22

The issue is not whether more money is spent on public transport in London. It's that a disproportionate amount of money is spent on public transport in London.

Other parts of the country need buses and trains too.

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Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
13th Sep 2018 08:10

Now doesn't seem like the right time to base spending plans on revenue collected from hydrocarbon fuel duty.

There was a big advertorial in the Times the other day about electric cars. Of course it promoted the vast savings to be made in running costs, largely through electricity being cheaper than liquid fuel. But most of the cost of liquid fuel is duty! A mass switch to electric implies, amongst other consequences, either that £10s of billions annually in tax will have to be raised elsewhere, or that electric vehicles will have to be burdened with the same fuel taxes as hydrocarbon vehicles, which will eliminate the running cost benefit.

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Replying to TomMcClelland:
RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Sep 2018 09:14

Right - that's the end of electric cars as soon as the Government spots that flaw.

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Replying to TomMcClelland:
By Democratus
13th Sep 2018 10:09

Yes -that's how governments work. See something popular and tax it, if it's not popular encourage its use and then tax it.

Anyone old enough to remember windows' (not Microsoft - no big IT companies pay tax) tax? And beards.....Yeah tax beards and all those hipsters can cover the cost of my commute...great idea.

If they could tax ranting on internet forums (fora?) they would make a fortune.

Also why is the NHS such a sacred cow? Throwing money at it won't fix things, it'll help of course but it is massively inefficient. I know, the company I work for could save the local trusts we work for £000 per year if they had a sensible buying policy...and we are very small beer in their spending budget.

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Replying to Democratus:
By Duggimon
14th Sep 2018 10:22

The windows tax died before Queen Victoria did! And I'm pretty sure consensus is we never had a beard tax.

NHS bashing is fun and cool I know but while there are always reports around of the massive failings, generally whenever I or literally everybody I know need any healthcare they do quite well, can't help but feel there's perhaps more than one side to that argument.

Tax the bigots, racists, sexists, tax the newspapers that lie, tax reality TV. Tax football, tax violence and tax people who text without putting proper punctuation in. Tax everyone who annoys me, tax whoever writes the content for .gov.uk pages and tax Sift until they bring back the old AWeb.

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Replying to Duggimon:
By Democratus
14th Sep 2018 12:32

What! no beard tax - time to write to my MP.....Oh wait....that's another waste of money right there.

"Tax the bigots, racists, sexists, tax the newspapers that lie, tax reality TV. Tax football, tax violence and tax people who text without putting proper punctuation in. Tax everyone who annoys me, tax whoever writes the content for .gov.uk pages and tax Sift until they bring back the old AWeb."

I'm up for that too.

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Replying to Duggimon:
RLI
By lionofludesch
14th Sep 2018 12:54

Duggimon wrote:
And I'm pretty sure consensus is we never had a beard tax.

Brush up on your history.

Henry VIII had a beard tax (it's not recorded whether he paid the tax on his own beard). His daughter, Elizabeth also had a beard tax. Though not a beard.

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By keithas
14th Sep 2018 13:06

"electric vehicles will have to be burdened with the same fuel taxes as hydrocarbon vehicles"
How, as most vehicles will be charged from their home electricity supply?

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Replying to keithas:
Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
14th Sep 2018 13:15

keithas wrote:

"electric vehicles will have to be burdened with the same fuel taxes as hydrocarbon vehicles"
How, as most vehicles will be charged from their home electricity supply?


You've inadvertently highlighted another problem. The local grid isn't up to the expanded draw of large numbers of homeowners charging their electric vehicles. Nor is there currently national generating capacity.

All of this can be solved of course, and when the government needs to find another way of extracting large amounts of money from motorists to replace lost hydrocarbon duties it will find a solution for that too. Probably either a technical solution in the cars that records charge use and applies tax accordingly, or a switch to road pricing, which is simply a different way of charging for mileage. The point is that the loss of that amount of tax isn't an option, so current p/mile advantage of electric is largely short term (regardless of eg environmental benefits)

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By Tax Dragon
14th Sep 2018 18:14

I did one of those police course for naughty boys and girls recently. They suggested that the difference in limiters was deliberate - Waitrose and Lidl set at 57, Sainsbury's and Argos at 56 kind of thing.

Aweb is how I find out they were lying. Who would've guessed?!

They also said (contrary to popular belief) that car speedos were reliable. I'm more tempted to believe that, as mine said 79 and that was the speed they clocked me at.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
01st Oct 2018 11:35

Tax Dragon wrote:

I did one of those police course for naughty boys and girls recently. They suggested that the difference in limiters was deliberate - Waitrose and Lidl set at 57, Sainsbury's and Argos at 56 kind of thing.

Aweb is how I find out they were lying. Who would've guessed?!

They also said (contrary to popular belief) that car speedos were reliable. I'm more tempted to believe that, as mine said 79 and that was the speed they clocked me at.


The limiters are set and calibrated independently but there is some scope for fiddling with them. Higher tyre pressures, for example.

Car speedos are allowed by law to indicate a little more than 10% overstatement of true speed. They work by measuring rotations and inferring distance/time so tyre pressure is sure to have some effect at least. Manufacturers prefer to slightly overstate speed, for safety and liability reasons, and motor traders have told me that there is a certain amount of variation by make in particular.

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Replying to TomMcClelland:
By Ruddles
14th Sep 2018 19:07

If my speedo is reliable that therefore means that all of my GPS devices, and those road signs which display my speed (invariably lower than my speedo reading) are wrong?

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By Tax Dragon
14th Sep 2018 21:06

How is that a question?

If I implied your speedo was right I apologise. Their clocking and my reading agreed, that's all I can say.

C'mon you're a tax advisor, you should know each case is different.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
By Ruddles
14th Sep 2018 21:17

I was reacting to the statement that (contrary to popular belief) that speedos are reliable. Implying (or perhaps it’s just my inference) that would apply to more than just yours. As I said earlier, though, I’ll rely on my own empirical evidence.

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Replying to TomMcClelland:
RLI
By lionofludesch
15th Sep 2018 12:13

TomMcClelland wrote:

Car speedos are allowed by law to be 10% incorrect up or down. They work by measuring rotations and inferring distance/time so tyre pressure is sure to have some effect at least. Manufacturers prefer to slightly overstate speed, for safety and liability reasons, and motor traders have told me that there is a certain amount of variation by make in particular.

It's illegal to have a speedo that shows a speed below actual.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Tax Dragon
15th Sep 2018 16:48

lionofludesch wrote:

It's illegal to have a speedo that shows a speed below actual.

I live life on the edge me. I might not get out much, but a speedo on the limit of legality.... rooooaaaarr.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
15th Sep 2018 20:45

lionofludesch wrote:

TomMcClelland wrote:

Car speedos are allowed by law to be 10% incorrect up or down. They work by measuring rotations and inferring distance/time so tyre pressure is sure to have some effect at least. Manufacturers prefer to slightly overstate speed, for safety and liability reasons, and motor traders have told me that there is a certain amount of variation by make in particular.

It's illegal to have a speedo that shows a speed below actual.

Good point, that's quite right. I had a brain-burp. Speedos are allowed to overstate speed by up to 10%+a fixed constant, but must not understate speed. The fixed constant means that the inaccuracy could be quite significant. 58mph indicated (referred to earlier in this thread) could be as low as 50mph ground speed.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
RLI
By lionofludesch
15th Sep 2018 12:09

Tax Dragon wrote:

I did one of those police course for naughty boys and girls recently.

They wanted me to do one. 37 mph they said I was doing. I wrote to them saying "you know the speed limit on that section is 40 mph, don't you ?

They wrote back saying "Oh, is it really ?"

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