Prestige/performance car maker Porsche is to challenge London Mayor Ken Livingstone's punitive £25-a-day "gas guzzler" traffic-charge, to be levied on cars with high CO2 emissions. The car firm will seek a judicial review of the mayor's policy. "A massive congestion charge increase is quite simply unjust," Porsche's UK boss Andy …
reintroduce the 914?
I can see why they're pissed. This is going to crucify their UK sales. Maybe if they built more lightweight, efficient cars and didn't concentrate on 80s style heavyweight sports cars they'd be in a better position to meet this challenge in places other than the courts? I doubt there is anything stopping you taking a Lotus Elise into London - with a little work (smaller, more efficient engine) it might even get into the lower bracket! Maybe deal 'ole Porker need to think in terms of this being similar to the fuel-crisis of the late 70s, when they built cars like the 914 with lightweight materials, modest engines, reasonable performance and good economy? The trouble there is that London has "gone first", and there isn't a big enough market to support a special model just for the UK, let alone one just for London.
Personally I'd rather see The Major fixing public transport (tube, rail, buses etc) than attempting to torture everyone into using the substandard, dirty, irregular, uncomfortable system we have now regardless of how bad it is. But that would require hard work, imagination, determination and money and wouldn't be terribly glamourous. This is easy, obvious, hi-tech, zietgiesty and will make cash out of people who cannot change their cars due to outstanding finance or the need for a big motor.
Hah - 4x4s with turbodiesels rule!
Once and for all, let's stop screaming about 4x4s and the environment - even under Red Ken's ruinous rules, 4x4s with turbodiesels (which is the engine that most real 4x4 off-road users want anyway) can be shown to be eco friendly. Or at least no worse than the majority of other cars.
My 2005 Land Rover Discovery turbodiesel had decent CO2 emissions, and gave me a combined, measured 27 mpg in mixed highway / city driving. In what is admittedly a 4000 lb square box with permanent 4 wheel drive. It "only" got to 60 mph in 10.8 seconds, and while it would happily cruise at 90 mph on the M1 motorway, it really couldn't break 100 except downhill. But my point being, 0-6 in under 11 seconds is all you really need anyway, and we all have to admit that no one should be breaking 95 on the M1 anyway.
It's not about 4x4s, it's about asshats that feel the need to put stomping huge V8 petrol engines in them, even though they are among the worst engines to actually take offroad. For those people, may I suggest an Audi S6 estate?
I got rid of the Disco when I changed jobs, and have waited to buy anything because of these new rules. Now I can safely look to the Freelander turbodiesel, and know that I have avoided the congestion charge madness of the £25 band...
Filthy evil taxis !!
of course even the most recent london taxi ( the LTI TX4) has co2 emissions of 233 g/km in automatic form. So why is it exempt from the £25 Charge ?????
Good 'ol Kenny keeps saying he brought this in to reduce congestion, now it is pollution. If he really means that and it is not a way to get extra funds to finance his trips to exotic places then he should stick the money raised from the year in a bank account. Then the next year use the money to hire police specifically to target those areas affected by the congestion zone to get illegal drivers and cars off the roads.
If he really does care about the London public then go to Gordon and request that this special branch be given powers that allow them to confiscate cars from people without a valid license, no insurance, no tax and then auction them off, with the money then going back into the police or to different beautifying projects.
"... This includes a lot of vehicles not normally seen as evil, for instance, often bought by parents with more than two children owing to the increasingly strict seat-safety rules. ..."
I'm always surprised with how people can come up with lame excuses to justify their desire to buy big cars. You can easily fit two and more kids in any mid-class car without giving up on the seat-safety.
"which clearly will have a very limited effect on CO2 emissions"
as we've recently seen, people with porches etc... generally can't afford to pay their insurance, never mind the CO2 charge. So the fact of the matter is that these people will either be so stuck with their gas guzzlers that they'll bankrupt themselves, or they'll change their behavior to save their money.
I know I'd rather drive a small car and not pay a charge, maybe I'm just smarter than people who drive porches... not difficult I admit :)
If you can not only afford a Porsche but also drive it into central London every day, 25 quid is nothing to you. I hope this gets laughed out of court. I have misgivings about people forcing their pollution upon us as it is, but they could at least have the decency of paying up.
If you can afford a porsche, you could surely either afford the charge, or too buy a car with a smaller engine size (probably defeating the point of buying the porsche in the first place).
However, a two door sports car designed to be as light as possible perhaps shouldn't be classed in the same league as a heavy 4x4.
I'm not sure what the point of driving a sports car into essentially a large car park is anyway. I'd be too scared about somebody hitting it, every car I've seen in london has some sort of dent in it.
Just how fast can your Porsche go in a crowded London street?
Why have a six liter engine capable of enough acceleration to rip your eyeballs down your throat when you'll have to stop just a few yards later.
We get prats over here in big 4x4 trucks. I see housewives driving 4x4 vehicles capable of climbing huge gradients, overcoming great big rocks, and jumping with ease over canyons and whatnot. They're being used to do the shopping and collect the kids from schools. And not a scratch on the expensive bodywork of this very capable off-road mechanical marvel. No mud, no scratches, no dents. Bloody thing has never had a sniff of the countryside let alone been driven up an embankment that requires raised suspension, 4x4 drive, and locked bloody differentials.
Besides I'm not rich enough to afford a Porsche so I'm all in favour of making those bastards suffer.
If they can afford a Porsche, they can no doubt afford the tax. Half of them are probably tax dodgers anyway.
Porshe owners should pay even more
The charge should be normalised versus seat carrying capacity. Actually so should be the taxes and excise.
This will decrease the taxes and fees for cars like the Zafira while still keeping them in the right bracket for the owners of erectile disfunction compensators like the Carrera or the Cayman. Same for other Chelsea tractor owners.
I'm sure this will make a massive difference
Last time I checked, all the private cars in the UK were collectively responsible for 0.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. What percentage of the 0.3% is represented by >225g/km cars entering central London, I wonder??
Peel off the green paint...
...and you'll find Ken's true red colours underneath. This has nothing to do with congestion, nothing to do with emissions and everything to do with his class hatred. Porsche, symbol of Ken's 80's yuppie nemesis, is exactly what he wants to target. Its also why he extended the zone west into affluent Kensington & Chelsea and not into areas with worse congestion (like south and east).
There's already emissions charges for cars, the road fund licence and fuel duty; and it disgusts me that this martinet can pull this kind of stunt unilaterally. And I know his supporters will say "vote him out" but unfortunately all those millions who work, but don't live in London, don't get a vote do they?
That extra revenue...
...should be ring-fenced for public transport and environmental projects. I would be happy to use the TFL systm if it was a) reliable and b) as cheap (per mile for eg) as driving.
I quite happily buzz around in a '05 1.9 TDI Seat Ibiza doing combined 46mpg (which still out-performs johnny 4x4 doing 0-60 in 9.8secs with a top speed of 130ish and costs only a fifth of the price). Using the latest figures for average diesel price that comes to 10.9p per mile.
To drive from Uxbridge to Camden (my usual commute of 18 miles) it costs me £1.96. To do the equivalent journey on the Tube costs £4 (or £3.50 on Oyster). What financial incentive is there for me to get the Tube, which probably takes 1 hour longer, and is often closed/delayed?
What's the difference between a hedgehog and a Porsche
Well there's no congestion charge for driving a hedgehog, oh and the pricks are on the outside of the hedgehog.
£25, no thanks
I wouldnt even TAKE £25 from Ken to visit London, nevermind give him £25.
The biggest problem
with the introduction of this fee is that it is largely unannounced. So there will certainly be people badly hit by the additional 365x£25 annual fee for owning a car, to the extent of them having problems with paying it. If it was announced as an "in five years" plan, then people would have the chance to adopt. As it is, expect a lot of cheap mid-range people-carriers on the market.
"Personally I'd rather see The Major fixing public transport (tube, rail, buses etc) than attempting to torture everyone into using the substandard, dirty, irregular, uncomfortable system we have now regardless of how bad it is."
Well, I've been around a little, and so far, the public transportation system in London are among the best, quickest, cleanest in large cities in Europe, as well as comparatively affordable. If you want a laugh, try public transportation in, say, Hamburg, Germany or for a real hoot, Marseille. If you want to get stuck halfway to the railway station with the next bus dropping by at four the next morning, try Luebeck, Germany.
@ Peel off the green paint
Yes, and isn't it apparent that by reading all the comments here (and elsewhere on the internet) that there's an entire generation of fucking belligerent retards that will do anything and everything in their power to legislate that which they don't like out of existence?
Class hatred doesn't even begin to describe this self-important phenomenon. I'd like to personally hang all these twats up and read them the riot act. I hate Americans about as much as anyone but Noel Gallagher's right, the British are the biggest cry-babies in the whole wide world. We're never happy with anything, ever.
Oh well, in twenty years it'll all come back around and a newer, younger, more self-important generation will start blowing it in the old crusties' faces. Once you start down this slippery slope it only gets worse.
Or maybe the younger generation will be smart and realize that tolerance is the best policy? Nah...
Re: Robert Hill
The answer is for greenpeace or some other bunch of hippies to cover random 4x4's in the street with cow sh**. If they drive in conditions that justify a 4x4, its unlikely that the owner will be fussed. If not, there will of course be plenty of publicity.
@Robert Hill Diesels Pollute more
Funny how all the oil burner drivers whine on about CO2 emissions as if they were the only pollutant. In a city environment by far the most dangerous emissions to people are PM10's and soot, emitted by guess what - diesels. You only have to watch some moron in TDi flooring it away from the lights and you'd swear the thing was running on house coal from the smoke. That's also why my air-con automatically switches to re-circulate after a couple of mins behind a diesel.
When diesels are as clean as petrol cars, i.e. active catalytic converters and soot filters, then you can lecture petrol drivers on the environment. Until then, as I drive round behind your stinking hulk, my petrol car is actually cleaning up after you.
Paris, because she knows all about emissions.
Any car over 2.0 litres £30.
Any 4x4 £60.
It should cost £2000 a year to tax any private vehicle over 2.0 litres.
It should cost £5000 a year to tax a 4x4 unless one is a farmer.
In fact I would like to see 4x4's banned from our roads.
If this revenue generating scam is about pollution, why doesn't it get taxed at source and added to the price of the fuel ? It will be UK wide as an added bonus and there is virtually no escape from it.
 What do you mean they taxed the fuel as much as they could get away with it?
Ken is up to rubbish again. I think that improving public transport and freezing fares is a great idea, but it's being sold with a ton of top-spin.
If he was concerned with emissions, he'd expand the zone east over the most heavily polluted parts of London.
If it looks like a tax and smells like a tax, it's just Ken lining his budgets. Why the man needs his own newspaper, I don't know.
Yup, that is how it works, because it is the people who _live_ there that suffer the pollution.
I think it is daft that in a cogestion charge zone, a car carrying 8 people (Like my Toyota Estima) will be taxed the same as a 2 seater which probably only has one person in it 99% of the time..
Re: Lame Excuse
As a father of 4 month old twins I can assure you that it is impossible to fit them, and the stuff that you need to take with them when you go out, into a "mid-class car".
Our "mid-class" car (BMW 3 series) had to go the minute we bought our buggy and was swapped for a Renault Scenic belonging to the in-laws. Even this is too small but, as we are leaving the country to get away from all the communists like Ken who have taken over, we are making do by not taking the babies out of the flat very often and, when we do, taking 2 cars!
A friend of mine who has 4 kids also can't get them, and his wife, into a "mid-class car" as these generally only seat 5. And with the booster seat laws etc you can't really use the middle seat anyway, So they also need a rather large car for them and the buggies, equipment etc that goes along with having a family (and before we get the replies of "their fault for having a large family and it being their choice; the 4 kids are 2 sets of twins so it isn't exactly their fault).
So if the choice is between a big car or two then I think the big car is more congestion and CO2 friendly!
RE: Lame excuse
"You can easily fit two and more kids in any mid-class car without giving up on the seat-safety."
I'd like to see you fit more than 2 adults and 2 child seats in ANY mid-sized car.
I have a Laguna (classed as a large family car) and you can't do it with that.
I'm becoming increasingly glad I don't live in the UK - it appears that as a filthy rich owner of a $2000 1984 Porsche 944, which gets something around 35mpg, I would be charged fifty bucks a *DAY* to own a car in London? *FIFTY*?
I like Britain and all, but man... you guys really *are* bonkers. And the "only filthy rich own Porsches" thing is total bull - there are rafts of 928s, 944s, 968s, even 911s that are a few years old and will run far less than any given new Toyota.
Let's separate out the jealousy from the issue. The jealousy is just pathetic - and don't kid yourselves, that's what it is.
Andy Goss is quite right: there are a couple of issues here. First, Ken is conflating congestion and climate change. Not to be pedantic, but CO2 is NOT a pollutant. It's a part of our atmosphere. Any car with a catalytic converter prodocuses water and carbon dioxide as exhaust gasses. That's just about it, and that's why if you want to top yourself ina agarage, you have to find an old banger with no catalytic converter. That climate change is a serious issue, I don't doubt, but why is this in the hands of the grubby little mayor? It's like when he starts having diplomatic relations with other countries - oh I forgot, he already does that. Get on with running London, not with running a parallel government. Is being mayor of one of the world's greatest cities not a big enough job for you Ken? And, as we know, he is planning to increase the numbers of vehicles which will be extempt. Hang on, how does that help *congestion*? Isn't that what we voted for? If we are going to be concerned about greenhouse gasses, let's be worried things worth worrying about, like all you people who eat red meat; like balancing China's desire for growth (good) with the power they will be consuming to get there (not so good); like making alternatives like solar more economically viable. And let's do this by getting people on side, not alienating them for really no quantifiable gain or purpose whatsoever.
Second, this is classic - if ham-fisted - attempt to divide and rule, and as a Londoner it stinks. It stinks that Ken gambles a whole class of people were never going to vote for him anyway, and that they are therefore in a position to be victimised and piloroed as he mugs away to those he thinks will vote for him. I don't want to seem hopelessly naive, but no one should applaud that, whatever you think of 4x4's and Porsches.
In short, this is tokenistic nonsense, and politics of the cheapest kind.
under 121, not 120
"emitting less than 120 grammes of CO2 per kilometre "
close, it's free for cars in the VED A and B bands which means it's for cars emitting less than 121g of CO2/Kilometre
Admit it, you're glad it's not you
You drive a typical 170gms / km car, get a 90% residents discount, so pay 80 pence a day. Somebody who bought a 4x4 long ago pre 2001, long before climate change was on the agenda, pays 25 quid. 31 times more.
They emit 1.5 times the CO2 per km, yet pay 31 times the charge. They even pay extra for the fuel. Now they have to find the money to replace that car too, and will have to sell on that car outside of London. They're paying for your sins and your damn glad they've been singled out not you.
But don't worry, your time will come.
Sooner or later you'll be in the group that faces the punitive punishment. Sooner or later you'll be taking one for the rest of us.
As for fixing climate change, where does he imagine these cars will go?
"I'm just smarter than people who drive porches..."
Pffft. You've probably got one of those new hybrid verandahs instead, I assume? Personally, I plan to buy a fully-electric balcony as soon as they're available. And don't got me started on those twats driving massive roof-top gardens around central London.
How about some incentives, rather than just tax-smacking.
If they gave you a big discount on alternative fuel cars and also made sure that by 20xx, x% of garages would have to provide this fuel. Might just help.
But of course it has little to do with the environment, and a lot to do with raising tax from the moral high ground.
Also on the subject of public transport I know many a person verbally abused or threatened on the London transport networks (I hear the buses are the worst). Any police about?
And another thing
Whatever you think about the appropriateness of this measure, it's clearly disengenuous to claim that "it's fair because of the polluter pays principle". This charge is specifically about charging people with big-engined vehicles a *disproportionate* amount, as a punitive / controlling measure. Nothing to do with fairness or egalitarianism. Someone with a 4.0 litre car already pays more fuel duty per mile, in direct proportion to the amount of fuel they use. That's perfectly fair, but hasn't resulted in the outcome the politicians want, so they simply change the rules.
Drivers of these big cars in London (as in any urban area) must be a bit thick, quite frankly.
I don't give a S***t
cos I will just claim the extra cost in expenses so the tax man will lose out in the long run. I can afford the extra anyway.
Think I will go and buy a hummer to go with my 4 litre gas guzzling high emission two seater sports car and use them on alternate days.
BLX to KEN
Paris cos like me she can afford the chump change.
What pollution? This isn't about diesel particulate, this isn't about SO2 or carbon monoxide, this isn't about lead. All of which might be somewhat valid. This is about tax and politics, but let's for one second pretend that it is about CO2, a colourless odourless non-toxic gas making up around 4% of what you exhale. Most of us aren't choking to death from our own breath, and nor are the plants which depend on it to live. This isn't even about noise pollution as an idling taxi or bus, or a motorbike, will blow away any of these vehicles in terms of noise.
So, you're left with CO2 as a source of climate change. Fine - but I think you'll find that doesn't respect the dotted line on Ken's map, and more to the point, nor do the emissions from power generation and third world growth.
You may not like 4x4's or Porsche's, but their mere exisence in London isn't harming you in any measurable way. Unless of course you get run over by one, but I think you'll find an eco-fiendly bus could finish you off even more efficiently.
"I got rid of the Disco when I changed jobs, and have waited to buy anything because of these new rules. Now I can safely look to the Freelander turbodiesel, and know that I have avoided the congestion charge madness of the £25 band..."
Doesn't driving around in a pretend truck make you feel like a total cock?
"To drive from Uxbridge to Camden (my usual commute of 18 miles) it costs me £1.96."
What are you on, a pedal cycle? Cars cost MUCH more than just their petrol to run them.
The motoring magazines give the cost per mile of most cars and from memory they're mostly in the 30 to 50p per mile range -- and even that doesn't include insurance (because it varies too much from person to person).
So your comparison price should be £6 to £9 and you'll find that's way more than the maximum daily oyster card or the daily share of a season ticket -- either of which would cover you for the return journey as well as the outward.
@ Anonymous Coward
"Well, I've been around a little, and so far, the public transportation system in London are among the best, quickest, cleanest in large cities in Europe, as well as comparatively affordable. If you want a laugh, try public transportation in, say, Hamburg, Germany or for a real hoot, Marseille. If you want to get stuck halfway to the railway station with the next bus dropping by at four the next morning, try Luebeck, Germany"
Remember that London is the Capital city so its unfair to compare it with regional hubs. Compare it with other Capitals and you will find the public transport system in london lacking. It costs a bloody fortune for one! In Paris you can get from A (anywhere in paris) to B (anywhere else in paris) for €1.50 and its fast, efficient and clean!
More Ranting Insight
"Any car over 2.0 litres £30.
Any 4x4 £60.
It should cost £2000 a year to tax any private vehicle over 2.0 litres.
It should cost £5000 a year to tax a 4x4 unless one is a farmer.
In fact I would like to see 4x4's banned from our roads."
Yes but WHY?
Kick em while they are already down
This isn't really going to hit those with the top end of the car market. Yes they probably could afford £25 a day. Then again they may just go out any buy another car that doesn't cost, thus adding to congestion even further as the Gas guzzler will be parked up in London.
The people this is going to hit are those who got a fairly sensible car over the last few years, i'm talking a Saab 93 2l, an Astra 2l, an Audi A4 V6, even a VW Sharan 2l (all these cars are in Group G)
Why do people buy these cars? To travel in relative comfort over long distances for work and play.
They are already being hit by increases fuel costs, Car tax costs, etc, etc.
Now they are being hit by this TAX on relative success.
So now they have to waste even more money in trying to change car.
Here's another statistic. If you took your G-Wiz car and put an equivalent powered Petrol engine in it, rather than battery the CO2 emmisions would be even less than the stated 65g/KM (even that figure is bogus as it is calculated completly differently to a normal car). Why because your local power station is less efficient than a car engine. Plus the G-Wiz weighs so much because of all the batteries
"I'm just smarter than people who drive porches..."
Sweet sweet irony.
Pedestrianise the lot
How many people *need* to drive in central london? With no private cars on the road, the busses would run fantastically and cycling would be a joy.
Just let the cabs, busses and delivery drivers in and some sort of mass park and ride for people who live in the zone and want to keep a car for sojourns out of the city.
Just glad I'm in the states
cause my, soon to be antique (24 years or older vehicle), 1985 Pontiac would not even come close to passing under any line that has been drawn up here. It barely passes the grandfathered emissions tests here in Texas. Hopefully this next test will pass cleaner since it's got a new catalytic and numerous parts replaced and tuned up, but I won't keep my hopes up.
Global warming is good anyhow... it'll make the frozen north/south a tropical paradise. Start buying up the permafrost land now folks, in 50 years it'll be prime for resale!
@If you can afford a porsche
Even as a long time Reg reader, I'm still occasionally astonished by the purely reactionary comments in these sections.
How many of you who blurted out "If you can afford a porsche..." have any idea how little various models of Porche actually cost? Not as much a you might think. Owning a well built and reliable car with a decent motorway speed is usually the point of buying one, but there are a lot of people commenting here who seem to think its all about bling and the 0-60 numbers.
@Lame Excuse - what a crock of shit mate. My missus is a child minder, and she can fit *three* kids in a tiny Vauxhall Agila, along with all the junk you need to deal with a bunch kids out doors. If you can't get 2 in a mid sized car, you're doing something very wrong.
@4x4s - I think its becoming quite clear that the crowd of people going on about how bad these are have as big a problem as the anti-porche crowd. Just because a vehicle has a 4-wheel-drive capable gearbox doesn't automatically make it crime against humanity to own one. There are many much more dangerous and polluting vehicles driving around inner London on a daily basis which should be taken off the roads.
Nope, not when I am a landscape photographer as a hobby, and often take my truck where you are too lazy and pantywaisted to ever get to. And considering I lived on the Yorkshire Moors (Meltham) when I had the Discovery, I can certainly show you a lot of landscape YOU couldn't even walk without breaking your little thin ankle, or ripping one of your painted fingernails. If you've seen the Top Gear when Clarkson takes a Disco up that mountain, well, mine has done similar.
The Freelander is just a compromise - now that I live in central London, the Disco is just too big to park easily. Otherwise I'd get another in a second. Or a Defender, 'cept my gf won't be seen dead in a Defender...
Diesels Pollute more: PM10's fall out and don't continue to rise with merely time passing. CO2 does accumulate.
Fitting kids in cars: twenty years ago a Vauhall Viva had to fit four kids and two parents. All the kids were teenaged and none of us "svelte". We fit.
Full 8 seater: well you're sharing the £25 per day fare amongst 8 people rather than through one.
Banned 4x4's: Why not? They aren't needed except for military use. Farmers in wales use half a dozen cheap escorts and use the tractor when one gets stuck. No need for 'em. So rather than tax (which makes it more an elite item, since the rich can always afford more) ban 'em.
Ringfence the tax for public transport: Yes.
Not all bad news
I live outside london and I've been thinking about getting a 4x4 in a legitimate will be going offroad, will be towing, will be doing agricultural work, kind of way.
If Ken's big plan goes through there may be a whole bunch of decent 4x4s turning up cheap.