British motorists contributed £46.6 billion in taxes to the Treasury in 2012, or nearly 8% of all the tax collected by the government that year.
These figures — the most up to date available — have been released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
Using figures from the 14 EU countries that break out motoring taxes as separate statistics, including Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, France and the UK, the total raised from motoring taxes was £284bn (€396bn).
The UK’s motoring-derived tax take was almost exactly the same as government defence spending, which came in at £46.4bn in 2012 and was just under half of what was spent on education.
According to the detailed breakdown, the largest amount of tax raised from UK motorists was from the sale of fuels and lubricants, adding up to £26bn. After that, it was VAT on vehicle sales, servicing, repair, parts and tyres, totalling £12.5bn. Annual ownership taxes came in at £5.8bn and “other taxes” at £1.5bn.