Vehicle Excise Duty or VED is the name of the annual flat rate tax for cars and other vehicles that the British government imposes upon drivers — in addition to a plethora of other taxes.
When the taxing of road vehicles began in Britain in 1921, the tax was called the 'road fund licence'. Tax was collected by county councils and people were told that money raised would only be used to fund roads. The more intelligent saw right away that that wouldn't last long.
Sure enough, over the years, the tax was sucked into government coffers and even the government no longer pretends that the money will be hypothecated to be spent on roads, or even public transport.
The latest lie is that it is all about 'saving the planet'. The more intelligent saw through that before it was even said. The reality is that the British government see drivers as a cash cow to be milked dry at every opportunity. They get away with it because the government have the power, bureaucracy and technology to prosecute anyone who tries to beat the system, and because people are too easily distracted by other issues to vote the government out of office.
Yet the government are terrified of public revolt — why else would they spend millions of pounds of public money on intimidatory TV 'threatmercials' in which they threaten to crush your car if you don't pay up? Any sensible financial analysis would suggest confiscating and selling the car, but that wouldn't be so intimidating. VED is a bit like a mafia protection racket — only on a much bigger scale.
ABD Policy
The ABD wants to see VED and it's associated bureaucracy, including SORN, scrapped entirely. Vehicle related taxes should only be charged on fuel, and they should be ring fenced for roads and transport. The bureaucracy and cost associated with VED enforcement could then be scrapped, and the police could focus more effort on catching criminals, and less on persecuting drivers.
VED bands were first introduced by the Labour government in 2001, with Band G being introduced in 2006. They were based upon CO₂ emissions in an attempt to bolster the claim that it was all about 'saving the planet'.
They were actually introduced both as a way of increasing the revenue from VED, and as a way of further punishing drivers of larger (and thus generally more expensive) cars. The new rates applied to new cars only, there was no attempt initially to impose them upon existing cars.
The government get away with it because the bands were set up by carefully analyzing the number of people who drive smaller cars against those who drive larger cars, and setting the bands so that those who will vote against the government because they are forced to pay more, are offset by those who will vote for them because they pay less. Some votes lost, some votes gained, net result: no change.
VED BandCO₂ g/km2008-2009
F>=186 (1)£210
G>=226 *£400
Rates for Petrol —, less for Gas, more for Diesel
* For cars registered on or after 23 March 2006

2008 Budget
In the budget on March 12 2008, Alistair Darling invented two new rip-offs.
Firstly he intends to force drivers of larger cars to pay more for the first year. There is no possible justification for this, it is just odious government extortion.
Secondly he intends to impose the new VED bands upon existing cars, even ones that were bought long before the idea of VED bands was invented. This is pure vindictive persecution of drivers, that will render many existing cars worthless as it will be impossible to sell them, because nobody will be willing to buy an old car that will cost an extortionate amount to licence each year.
With these new bands, the vast majority of drivers will be forced to pay more. The careful balancing of the number of drivers who will pay less with those who will pay more, seems to have been thrown out of the window as the goverment become even more arrogant in their war upon drivers.
VED BandCO₂ g/km2009-102010-11
First year
Subsequent years

Fundamentally Unfair
Why are these bands unfair? Simply because they relate only to CO₂ emissions measured in a test facility. They take no account of mileage done or driving style.
A large car driven for only 5000 miles a year might actually emit far less CO₂ overall than a small car driven for 20000 miles. Yet the large car pays more VED — supposedly because of CO₂ emissions. You are not paying for how much CO₂ you actually emit, you are being taxed simply for having a larger car. It has nothing to do with 'protecting the environment'. The whole scheme is a total sham.
What can you do if you are affected by excessive taxes? — Nothing at the moment (unless you have the necessary skills to hack into the DVLA computer and turn your Ferrari into a Toyota Prius ;-)
They don't care if you have a large family and need a larger car.
They don't care if you live in the country and need a 4x4.
And if you drive a higher CO₂ emitting car simply by choice, they'd happily persecute you into oblivion if they thought they could get away with it.
Britain is not truly a free democracy, it is a time-limited dictatorship that you only have an opportunity to change once every four years. Once a party is in power, they do what they want, and the only way to stop them is to kick them out when you have an opportunity to vote, and hope the next government will undo the damage.

Elsewhere on the ABD website

ABD Press releases about VED

External Links

Media Links

"Graduated VED is very worrying. It will put the clock back"
Professor Garel Rhys, Head of Automotive Economics at Cardiff Business School, and Parliamentary Adviser on Trade and Industry;
commenting on Tony Blair's anti-car policies. 2000