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More road tolls will hit dealers, RMI chief warns

The RMI has vowed to lobby Parliament following the disclosure of proposals for widespread road charges in the Government’s 10-year transport plan that could have a serious impact on dealer costs.

The plan suggests the replacement of road tax with a variable charging scheme that could see car use in heavily congested areas taxed by up to £1.40 a mile.

Although such measures may be more than a decade away, the RMI fears such a scheme would cause inadvertent damage to the automotive industry and the service it provides to customers.

Its chief executive, Matthew Carrington, says that dealers would be left facing substantial costs for test drives taken by potential customers and for moving vehicles between sites. The offer of courtesy cars during services might become so costly that some dealers might abandon the practice entirely.

“Under a road charging scheme dealers would need to establish a method to make their customers pay for any tolls incurred,” says Carrington.

“The current suggestions show that the possible impact on the retail motor trade has yet to be considered. The RMI will continue to lobby Government on this controversial issue.”

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