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Distance tax

November 14, 2009

A new tax in Holland will charge drivers by the kilometer. Cutting congestion, accidents and carbon emissions are all considerations for the new tax.

A road at night photographed with a long exposure with lots of traffic
The Dutch expect the tax to cut carbon emissions by halfImage: picture-alliance/dpa

The Dutch government approved a bill on Friday that will implement a new per-kilometer-tax on drivers. Beginning in 2012 the law will abolish current road taxes and sales taxes for automobiles, cutting the cost of a new car by 25 percent, in favor of the pro-rated distance tax.

Drivers will be charged 0.03 euros per kilometer (7 cents US per mile) in an attempt to reduce traffic jams fatal accidents and carbon emissions.

The tax will increase every year until 2018, when it will cost 6.7 cents per kilometer to drive in Holland.

The government says the tax will benefit 6 out of 10 drivers, with those who drive the most and at peak hours with the most burden to bear.

To drive from Groningen in the north to Eindhoven in the south is a journey of 252 km with a fairly direct route along the A50 and A28 motorways. If all goes according to plan with the tax, to drive between these two cities could cost a driver 7.56 euros in 2012, or 16.88 euros in 2018.

Carbon emissions would be cut in half, Minister of Transportation Camiel Eurlings said, according to media reports on Saturday.

Overall, the government expects that the number of cars on the roads should also decrease by 15 per cent, as more people would switch to public transport and cycling.

Editor: Andreas Illmer