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Car tax lower than bikes

Published: 18 March 2006

Updated: 19 November 2014

It's now cheaper to tax some cars than it is to tax your bike.

Chancellor Gordon Brown's 10th Budget - announced on Wednesday (Mar 22) included a 'radical reform' of the road tax system to encourage environmentally-friendly cars. Despite our green credentials, there was nothing to support bikes.

While cars can now be taxed for £40 - with the greenest going absolutely tax free - rises in bike tax have been announced taking the cost for a 600cc-plus bike to £62 a year.

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Choose great kit: 1600 reviews here The £2 rise outstrips the rate of inflation (2%) announced by the Chancellor by more than 50%. It represents a 3.3% rise. That's despite the fact that the Budget report commended to the House described the rise as 'inline with inflation'.

Riders of 151-400cc bikes will now pay £31 (up £1) and 401cc-600cc class riders must pay £46 - up £1.

The only winners are those on under 150cc machines. Their rate is frozen at £15.

Tell the PM what you think. See page two of this article.

Among the Chancellor's other motoring-related announcements are:

Radical reform of excise duty. New 0 rate for small cars with the lowest carbon emission (no duty).

Current £75 charge for low-emissions cars is cut to £40.

New £210 band for new cars that are the most polluting.

Extra cash will help pay for more reductions on more efficient cars.

5% of fuels from bio fuels by 2010.

The usual fuel duty rise inline with inflation has been deferred.

A Treasury spokesman said there were no plans currently to change from the tax-by-capacity regime applied to bikes to the emissions-based system applied to cars.

He said the Government was focusing on cars because there were more of them and changes in emissions from cars would have the biggest impact on the environment.

For the full text of the Chancellor's speech, and a summary click here

For VED charges for bikes click here

Pete Johnson, from Ipswich was so incensed by the rise in bike road tax that he wrote the following to the Prime Minister's office.

"Please can you explain to me why, for the first time ever, it is now cheaper for me to tax certain cars than it is a motorbike?

"Are you seriously trying to tell me that my motorcycle causes more harm to the environment, more congestion, more pollution and more damage to roads etc than even the smallest cleanest most pollution free car??!!

"If this is your belief then I would be very interested to see the reports etc that lead you to this conclusion, if however this is not the reason behind this absurd situation please can you tell me how you came to this situation so as to put my mind at rest that is was not because you simply overlooked bikers and there votes!!

"I look forward to you speedy and clarifying response!"

If you want to send your views to No10, follow this link:

Earlier versions of this story referred to the road tax rate being frozen for all bikes. would like to pass on the apologies of the Treasury's Press Office who accept they were initially incorrect in this assumption.

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