Netherlands Considering Pay-Per-K Motoring


The Netherlands government are getting serious about abolishing road tax and a current 25% sales tax on cars and replacing them with a per kilometer fee in an effort to cut car congestion and carbon dioxide emissions.

If the law is passed then it would come into effect in 2012 for Netherlands drivers and implemented for foreign motorists in 2018.

The proposed system would rely on each car being fitted with a GPS device that would send data regarding distances travelled to an appropriate revenue collection agency.

Initially a charge of 3 Euro cents per kilometer would be charged rising to 6.7 Euro cents by 2018.

If successfully introduced then the rest of Europe will be watching closely as to how effective a measure it is in achieving its stated objectives.

Photo lbsterling under this creative commons license


4 thoughts on “Netherlands Considering Pay-Per-K Motoring

  1. That’s an interesting idea. I can’t imagine it being popular with high-mileage motorists though anyone who just tootles to the supermarket and back once a week will gain.

    Where many of these schemes fall down, however, is that governments forget that if you want to reduce private car usage, you have to improve public transport commensurately. That means tackling overcrowding, keeping fares moderate and making the experience as pleasant as possible. (Travelling on the London tube at 9 am on a weekday cannot be considered pleasant.)

    • The public transport element to getting people to use cars less (which I agree with you is always underfunded) seems to suffer from an eternal chicken and egg scenario. The London congestion charge revenue was meant to be directed at vastly improving public transport (London itself already having a much better public transport infrastructure than many other British towns and cities) but revenues turned out to be much lower than anticipated. Will Britain ever find the real will to prioritise public transport?

  2. It does seem hard to believe that we will ever prioritise public transport. But I live in hope.

    As you know, I used to have pay-per-mile car insurance and it was fantastic for me. But it was discontinued after a couple of years, not sure if too few people took it up or whether it was not economical for Norwich Union/Aviva to run.

    I will be interested to see how this goes if it is implemented. It would suit me. I did notice that people did think more carefully about using their cars when petrol prices suddenly shot up in summer 2008. People whose legs I had never seen before started walking to the school and the city. Sadly they all drifted back to their cars as prices fell/they got used to higher prices. But seeing the cost set out in that way – more miles, more expensive – might make it easier for people to cut down. At the moment there is little incentive to do so, other than keeping fit by walking a bit. It actually often feels more cost effective to use your car more – if you’ve got one you might as well get your money’s worth out of it. Not that I think that way but some people do.

    • While every initiative to reduce traffic is welcome (as much to reduce congestion and pollution and to make town life pleasanter for citizens as to respond to global warming), I disagree in principle with using pricing, whether of fuel or insurance or anything else, as a method of control. This is because it is anti-egalitarian, i.e. it affects the affluent less than the less-well-off and because, as RB notes, people get used to the higher prices and drift back to car usage (c.f. the post-congestion-charge traffic levels in London).

      If it is desirable to keep private cars out of the centre of London, then private cars should be banned from the centre of London. No tax, no toll, no expensive tracking machinery, no ifs and buts, just ban the cars. Then clobber anyone who disobeys. It is that simple.

      The problem is that government bodies try to have it both ways: they want to stop cars going into London but they like the idea of the money the congestion charge will earn. They don’t mind upsetting motorists (and reactionary motoring organizations) a little bit but they don’t want to upset them a lot. If you try to do contradictory things in a single policy, it will obviously do nothing very well.

      What I say above about London and the congestion charge applies to all other schemes for traffic reduction. Pay-per-mile will have a big effect in the first few months than the effects will gradually decline as people accept that they have to pay more for their travel.

      A big element in this is the selfishness and self delusion of motorists who will always come up with reasons why they “need” to drive, e.g. “I have a large family/lots of shopping and so I simply cannot do without using the car.”

      I can prove this is untrue: For every family that makes such an excuse, look for a family with the same features (e.g. lots of kids, lots of shopping, disabled granny, etc) but which cannot afford to run a car. You will find this family manages without a car (it has to). Therefore the other family could also manage without a car. QED

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s