Monday, January 29, 2007

Car owners getting a free ride

Some car owner over at The Star Citizen's Blog is of the opinion that motorcyclists are getting a free lunch, and should be forced to pay tolls and road tax.

As a user of both a motorbike and a car, I agree that there is "no such thing as a free lunch". But he or she has got it wrong about who is getting the free lunch. Cars consume a lot more petrol than motorcycles. This means the car owners receive the bulk of the government's petrol subsidy. As an example, I use my motorbike for about 2/3 of my travels these days. If I were to use my car full-time, my petrol costs would increase by 3 to 4 times.

Since I pay taxes, that means I am paying the petrol subsidy for some car owner who is using a lot more petrol than I am. What is worse is anyone who pays taxes - even a person who doesn't own a vehicle - is subsidising the petrol used by car owners.

Another thing to note is that cars cause most of the wear and tear on roads; motorbikes are far lighter than cars and only have two wheels. So car owners should rightfully bear the costs for roadworks - hence the road tax and tolls. So ask yourself, car owners, who is getting the free lunch?

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