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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 21:09 
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Possible a similar discussion on this previously but the following thoughts have been going round my head for a while.


Earlier this year I bought a saab 93, with 3 main motivations:
- something a bit bigger to fit the bike in
- something a bit better for motorway cruising on weekends
- something a bit more economical

and it pretty much delivers on these, although if i'd prioritised the bike issye i'd have an estate or people carrier.

problem is day to day it's pointlessly large, i drive 20 miles to & from work each way.
i have and do cycle this route but work, lifestyle and fitting other training in means i wont do it daily.


what would be great for me/us would be to have a small car for commuting, i'd be quite happy with electric even.... a practical car for motorway cruising (probably also more economical than taking a small car on a long journey).... and how about a race van for taking the bike with me which i need to do at least twice a month.

problem is to do this involves taxing (at least) 3 vehicles full time, when i've yet to discover a physical way to drive more than one at a time.

my mind even turns to having a single powerpack/engine that can swap vehicles!... or docking a city car cabin into larger shalls (F.A.B. Virgil).

more practically however it strikes me that the tax system gives me no incentive to own or use an appropriate form of transport for any one trip... hence i'm left with a compromise.

if a usage based tax could be fairly implemented i think i quite like the idea.

someone at work suggested charging by the mile at MOT time, given a system is already in place requiring the annual MOT and for recording the mileage.


so apart from taxing every car to oblivion, what other system would provide an incentive for appropriate transport usage ?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 22:39 
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How about shared ownership:

a group of 10 people jointly buy

    8 off Citroen C1/Pug 107/ Tyota aygo

    1 large MPV

    1 4X4

    1 luxury/sports car
( 1 extra for flexibility )

most of the time a small economical car is sufficient the other 3 cars could be booked for use as required.

All we need is a matching flexible insurance policy and a more relaxed attitude to car ownership!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:39 
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Hi Ed.

I've agonised over sone of these same decisions. I ended up with an Audi A4 estate which is great for transporting either of my 2 bikes (Specialized Globe and Sirrus). Partly because I live alone, the load carrying capability often comes in handy, and the back seats are usually folded down. If I was looking for a cheaper alternative, I'd get a Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDi estate. My GF has one, and often gets 60mpg.

However, you've already got your car. Would you consider a motor scooter as well? I've been delighted with mine, and it pays its way. VED is 15GBP per year and it gets over 100mpg. But another significant way in which it helps is with ease of parking, which is always free. It would also keep mileage off your Saab and help it keep its value.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:56 
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DieselMoment wrote:
Would you consider a motor scooter as well? I've been delighted with mine, and it pays its way. VED is 15GBP per year and it gets over 100mpg. But another significant way in which it helps is with ease of parking, which is always free. It would also keep mileage off your Saab and help it keep its value.


Not for long, as I understand it they are planning on charging bikes/scooters £1.20 per day to park in London soon (or maybe it was just one council) either way, once that starts we've seen where it ends up - £1.80 p/hour to park a car in the outskirts of London, over £4p/h in places in inner London... £2p/hour at Hospitals etc etc


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 17:32 
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oniznorb wrote:
How about shared ownership:


hmmm yes car clubs do appeal, and some do exist i think ?
not sure if they would be flexible enough for me.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 17:37 
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DieselMoment wrote:
However, you've already got your car. Would you consider a motor scooter as well? I've been delighted with mine, and it pays its way. VED is 15GBP per year and it gets over 100mpg. But another significant way in which it helps is with ease of parking, which is always free. It would also keep mileage off your Saab and help it keep its value.


its more of a theoretical debate just now as i dont have cash to splash (given i could probably have bought quite a nice scooter for the price of my new race bike).

i could live with a scooter, some of my best route to work is m-way however, although mostly i spend all my training time on the bike dealing with inept motorists and not sure i want to do the same on a scooter! seems to be a growing trend for road going quads lately too, which is just quirky enough to appeal, i assume there's a tax reason for this.
or maybe a carver?

ideally of course i'd love a small fairly practical classic for day to day and a larger option for weekends & practicality.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 08:16 
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I know exactly where you're coming from! I have a whacking great MPV and when we're driving about as a family with young kids and all the junk that habitually accompanies them, it's great. Once a week though I drive 150 miles to Glasgow or Manchester by myself. It's a complete waste of space. If I'm careful, I could maybe just get 40MPG out of it but I could get nearer 60 with a more appropriate car.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 21:34 
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hmmm the only tempting option ive come up with so far is getting a tax exampt classic for commuting :)
actually i quite like that idea... wonder if i can get it lpg'd.

if only i had a driveway to stick it on.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 23:01 
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I'd love to do that but I'd be concerned with just how demanding and fragile most classics are. I had an old Scimitar for a while - I thought I'd go for something that didn't rust, but it still managed to keep me pretty busy! I have a mate with a Triumph Stag - a real shed of a thing but he loves it to bits. Again, it still manages to keep him busy and deteriorates pretty fast in winter. I curently have an 18 year old car which, although I couldn't call it a "classic" just yet, at least allows me to tax it's 3 litres for £185. Perhaps a pre-2001 car is the best compromise.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:29 
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even with the most favorable taxation system and a big wad of cash, a car purchase is for the most part going to be a compromise.

There are a select few Premier League footballers and alsorted millionaires that can have a vehicle for all occasions, everyone else just has to buy the car that does what they want most of the time, assuming they can afford it and have somewhere to park it.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 22:40 
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If you want a car that'll be all things*, I'd have to say one of these mini MPV things.

Golf/astra etc chassis, easy to park.
TD of around 2L, economical yet large enough to blat down the m'way.
Space for your bike.


*except stylish, heh.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 20:57 
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Going way out into left field.

I wonder if the manufactures could come up with some personal equivalent of the tractor-trailer arrangement. A small two seater with a modest but adequate FWD engine which you use for commuting. For the weekends with the bike or for the holidays you hook up a trailer. The trailer has its own engine driving the rear axle to compensate for the extra weight. Modern electronics could coordinate the two engines and gearboxes. Cars with separate engines for each axle date back, in my knowledge, to John Cooper's experimental minis.

You could offer a range of trailers with different load capacities with engines sized to match

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 01:43 
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Think someone did do an extending car. Went from a 2 seater to a normal 5 seater. Can't for the life of me remember who or when. There were issues with returning from 5 seaters to 2 as there didn't seem to be any safety mechanism for making sure there was no-one in there when you did.... could cure joy riding with mates if the back seat passengers were always squashed :twisted:


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 07:35 
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Quote:
could cure joy riding with mates if the back seat passengers were always squashed

And a powerful disincentive to "back seat driving" :twisted:

But the cunning part of my scheme is the second engine

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 02:55 
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There's a few problems with the tax per mile thing

1) Off road use. If you own a track car and the only on-road mileage it does is driving to and from the race track, you'll be paying for all your laps around the track

2) Accuracy. All speedos overread and the amount they overread varies per car and depending on how worn your tyres are. Also the speedo in my Volvo has read 137,000 miles since at least 2006 (no computerised MOTs before then). I suspect a lot of odometers would develop intermittent faults if a scheme based on the odometer reading was brought in.

So we're back to GPS tracking and logging (and therefore road pricing) and I don't think you'll see much support for that here.

Perhaps another solution would be to tax drivers rather than vehicles. Your driving licence becomes invalid if you don't pay your driving tax. This government would be all over an idea like that I bet, but it also has plenty of problems such as them losing the ability to rip off drivers of big inefficient vehicles (well, apart from fuel tax). There's probably some civil liberties issues too. Plus they'll try to enforce it by adding facial recognition to ANPR cameras which will go hilariously wrong and result in loads of bogus fines being automatically issued.

So yeah, it's a rubbish idea, sorry.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 07:42 
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The problem with taxing drivers rather than vehicles is that there would be no obvious and visible tax disc to indicate that the driver was taxed. In fact it would be like the current position with insurance. And we have already discussed the problems of insured drivers being persecuted for not being on the data-base.

Going off at a tangent, how about turning the "tax-disc" into a widget without which the engine would not start. An SD card plugging into the ECU for example - the ECU being factory programmed with a unique ID. The device could expire after a certain number of engine hours rather than on a fixed date if you like. And it would have to be reset at the MOT station.

The insurance certificate could be another dongle programmed with the vehicles in which it valid. Carried by the individual who would plug it into a socket on the dash. It could be programmed with the mileage for restricted use and pay-per-mile policies or even the permitted hours for the proposed daytime only policies. This would have concomitant benefit of increasing vehicle security.

And, yes, I can see a lot of flaws with this - but it is a brainstorm :bounce1:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:02 
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My/our solution.

Wife's car, BMW 325TI. Hatchback, comfy distance transport for four adults, 20-25mpg in town and high 30s over distance. My wife only has to do 3.5 miles to work with an extra couple of miles two days a week when visiting 80+ year old mum on way home. Does about 5,000 miles per annum so fuel consumption is not a priority.

My car, Smart Roadster. Can fit in a weekly shop, equipment for work or folding cycle in it, 45 - 55mpg, takes up little road space and fun to drive at lowish speeds. Gets a bit tiring for journeys over 60 miles or so but most are less than half that. Total annual mileage 20,000 around half for business and half commute so getting the most out of 40p/mile is important as is having something enjoyable to spend so much time in.

Track car, TVR 400SE. Shared ownership between three people. SORN'd when not in use.

Slight fly in the ointment is I also have an Impreza which has not sold, it is not taxed or insured at the moment, but I have decided to keep it as a workhorse and for driver training, also may put a tow bar on because-

I bought a kit car erm, kit just before I changed jobs, which is why I had to get the Smart, so I might get a trailer for going to tracks if I am keeping the Impreza.

The last three are definitely beyond need and into personal lifestyle choice, the first two are utility choices even if biased towards my petrolhead nature.

No system is going to be fair for everyone, when we had a total combined mileage of about 8,000m/year I was all for putting the tax on fuel. Now I do 20K in a car that costs £120 to tax I am not so sure, changing the tax bands for the BMW given its low mileage use was annoying though. All that is definite though is that Brown will not reduce the amount of tax grabbed from motorists so any change will be at best good for some and worse for others.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:17 
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I think all the tax should go on fuel. If it sits there doing nothing then it costs nothing. If you use it you pay according to how far you drive and how fuel efficient the car and your driving style is. It is totally fair as if you sit in traffic crawling along then you use more fuel than if you travel at a less congested time of the day.

I also think that if anpr is used at petrol stations then cars flagged up as wanted should be required to pay by card and not cash to try and offer a level of traceability. I am surprised HMG haven't made it a requirement that all fuel is bought by card in advance to prevent drive offs and tax evasion....


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:52 
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teabelly wrote:
I think all the tax should go on fuel. If it sits there doing nothing then it costs nothing. If you use it you pay according to how far you drive and how fuel efficient the car and your driving style is. It is totally fair as if you sit in traffic crawling along then you use more fuel than if you travel at a less congested time of the day.


You pay for what you use, a bit like road pricing only the collection mechanisms are in place and the overhead of collecting and administering VED would be removed thus saving money. Would be perfect for me given my car collecting habits.

Far too sensible, I cannot see any government going for this. Mind you if Boris were in charge...

As much as I am into technology I often consider the best solution will also be the one using the least or simplest technology possible. This probably equates to the best value for money solution, at least that is what my instincts as a Yorkshireman tell me.

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