The cost of motoring: Two speed tax?

THE AA report that a family car costs €10,593.60 a year is sobering and a very good reason to invest in public transport — or a good bicycle.

That this figure, in a great number of instances though not by any means all, represents after-tax earnings makes the bill even more sobering. Motoring bills have changed marginally since last year with any savings afforded by cheaper fuel have been cancelled out by an increase in insurance premiums, the biggest one-year rise in a decade.

Owning a private car has long been imagined a right but in an ever-more urbanised world it seems more like a privilege, and in many circumstances an unwelcome burden. In most rural areas, where public transport is intermittent if it exists at all, a car remains an essential lifeline.

Motorists have long been an easy target for the taxman whether a car is essential or a luxury. Some taxes were levied to protect the environment so maybe it’s time to return to that principle and have two levels of taxation — one for people who have alternatives and another lower rate for those who must depend on private transport?


Lifestyle

Liz O’Brien talks to Niall Breslin about his admiration for frontline staff, bereavement in lockdown, his new podcast, and why it's so important for us all just to slow down.Niall Breslin talks about losing his uncle to coronavirus

Podcasts are often seen as a male domain — see the joke, 'What do you call two white men talking? A podcast'.Podcast corner: Three new podcasts from Irish women that you should listen to

Esther McCarthy previews some of the Fleadh’s Irish and international offerings.How to attend the Galway Film Fleadh from the comfort of your own couch

Whether you’re on staycation or risking a trip away, Marjorie Brennan offers suggestions on novels for a wide variety of tastesThe best fiction books for the beach and beyond this summer

More From The Irish Examiner