The AA has released statistics revealing that of the £582.6 billion raised in UK taxes in 2014, almost 10% came from motorists.
UK motorists pay more in fuel duty alone than UK firms and companies pay in business rates and the equivalent of 97.5% of what is received through council tax. Other motoring taxes raise another £6.1bn in vehicle excise duties, and a further £25bn from VAT on fuel and car sales, company car tax and insurance premium tax.
Despite this, the AA claims road users have to put up with high parking costs and roads that are badly maintained and often blacked out at night.
With all of this in mind, the motoring association has launched its Motorists’ Manifesto, calling on all drivers to show support through social media with the #Vote4BetterRoads campaign.
Over the last 12 months, the AA has been taking the pulse of the British motorist to find out the issues that matter to them.
• The number one concern for drivers is potholes and the state of the roads. Road condition affects us all, whether on four wheels or, more dangerously, on two. Potholes and poorly maintained roads are a threat to road safety and cost us millions of pounds in punctures, damaged rims and even shock absorbers and suspension. We need more funding ring-fenced to improve the state of the roads.
• The cost of motoring, despite some recent relief on the fuel forecourt, also remains a concern. Again, no big shock that it comes in at number two on our list. A fuel duty freeze may have helped at the margins but the AA wants to see full fuel price transparency with published wholesale and retail prices and the abolition of tolls in England and Wales.
• Third was driver behaviour, which is perhaps more surprising. We can’t really hold the government to account for this as the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual. However, ministers can influence levels of road policing and the content of the driving test. We need more police in cars to target dangerous behavior like tailgating and use of mobiles at the wheel. Better road safety education within the national curriculum from an early age will also help.
The AA is calling on all motorists to support its #Vote4BetterRoads campaign and is urging drivers to question prospective parliamentary candidates on what they will do to help drivers.
If the cost of motoring is a concern for your business, find out here if a fuel card could ease your mind.