AN e-petition is calling for motorcycles to be taxed using the same approach as cars.
Car tax rates are based on CO2 emissions while motorcycles are taxed according to engine capacity.
According to Paul Sealey who started the petition, ‘A Toyota Aygo or Citroen C1, a tax class B car, pays just £20 a year, producing 139g/km of CO2… But a Honda VFR making just 16.5g/km of CO2 pays £78 a year, nearly 4 times as much...
'It's about time this fundamental unfairness was addressed.'
But Chris Hodder, Government Relations Executive for the British Motorcyclists Federation, said: 'The problem is that there are no official CO2 figures for bikes as their are for cars and therefore the government won't/can't do it.'
And Craig Carey-Clinch, spokesman for the Motorcycle Industry Association, said the petition was misinformed and the CO2 figure for a VFR 'seriously wide of the mark'.
Carey-Clinch said: 'The really important issue though is how the case is made. If we asked for a simple parity of policy between car and bike, we’d see the majority of riders of smaller bikes paying little or nothing. But we are concerned that many larger bikes could come under a higher VED bracket, with riders possibly paying much more than they do now. I don’t yet know for sure how many would be affected though. But we can be sure that riders would not be impressed.
'Therefore once CO2 measurement is brought it for large bikes in 2016, MCI will be taking a very close look at the nature of the case that we will put to Government. This to ensure that as well as gaining real benefit for commuter riders on small bikes, we don’t see a ratcheting up of costs for the enthusiast sector.
'So although I feel we are philosophically sympathetic to what the petitioner is trying to do, the petition does not use accurate info and the timing is not right if we are to get real benefit from changes in VED.'