The True Costs of Automobility

Thought that motor tax & insurance / VAT / Duty etc. cover the cost of motoring? Think again – see The True Costs of Automobility

Brief conclusion: The results of this study advocate that the European Union should embark as soon as possible on a process that estimates external costs regularly and develops a smooth integration path of these costs into transport prices: Slowly and steadily, designed well in advance of implementation, with accompanying measures to support adaptation. Let it be remembered that there is no intention of creating additional revenue from transport users: the intention is to give price signals so that everybody adapts and hopefully nobody has to pay these prices. Then, all costs would be reduced, efficiency would be increased.

Full conclusion:

(1) Based on the assumptions described in this study, the cars used within the EU-27 externalize about 373 billion euro per year (high estimate) on to other people, other regions and other generations (low estimate: 258 billion). This is a considerable sum, and it leads to a level of car use that is inefficient from the perspective of society. Because “others” pay for large parts of the costs of transport, Europeans travel by car too much to enable an efficient situation. This in part also explains why there is a high level of congestion in parts of the EU. Continue reading The True Costs of Automobility