11 Apr 2010

UK car taxation/costs (part 1 - tax)

I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the cost of the UK's car-related taxation, and see the benefits of going for high effiecency cars.

I took two typical small cars: a Peugeot 107 Urban and a Ford Fiesta 1.4 Studio.

Peugeot 107 1.0 Urban 3-door
MPG 62
Insurance Grp 1
CO2 Emissions 106g/km
Road Tax Band B
Price £8,470*

Ford Fiesta 1.4 Studio
MPG 49
Insurance Grp 4
CO2 Emissions 133g/km
Road Tax Band E
Price £13,395*

*prices taken from their respective main website.

It is probably clear from the differing list price that the two might not be directly comparable in terms of quality, but it is still interesting to see what the effect of the extra fule efficency of the Peugeot has on cost.

The extra efficency will obviously give some saving on petrol costs. Currently main road fuels (i.e. unleaded petrol and diesel) have a fuel duty tax which is paid per litre. As of 01-Apr-2010 this was £0.5719/litre. VAT is then added ontop of the fuel and fuel duty cost.

Today (11-Apr-2010) my local supermarket was selling unleaded petrol at £1.18/litre (£0.18 VAT, £0.57 Fuel Duty, £0.43 Fuel).

In addition to the savings on fuel, there will be a saving on the annual Road Tax.

To further promote the purchase of fuel efficent cars, there is a further first year road tax incentive. Any car with CO2 emission of 130g/km or less gets the first year of road tax for free.

So with a few simply assumptions I have calculated the amount of tax paid over a 5 year period for both cars:

Peugeot 107 Ford Fiesta 1.4
VAT £1,261.49 £1,995.00
Road Tax Yr 1 £0.00 £110.00
Road Tax Yr 2 £20.00 £110.00
Road Tax Yr 3 £20.00 £110.00
Road Tax Yr 4 £20.00 £110.00
Road Tax Yr 5 £20.00 £110.00
Fuel VAT Yr 1 £127.42 £163.05
Fuel VAT Yr 2 £129.58 £165.81
Fuel VAT Yr 3 £129.58 £165.81
Fuel VAT Yr 4 £129.58 £165.81
Fuel VAT Yr 5 £129.58 £165.81
Fuel Duty Yr 1 £414.65 £530.58
Fuel Duty Yr 2 £427.41 £546.91
Fuel Duty Yr 3 £427.41 £546.91
Fuel Duty Yr 4 £427.41 £546.91
Fuel Duty Yr 5 £427.41 £546.91

Total Tax Paid £4,111.53 £6,089.52

I have assumed each car does 10,000 miles per year. I have kept the fuel price the same each year, but for years 2 to 5 I have factored in the annouced increase of fuel duty to £0.5895/litre which occurs on 01-Jan-2011.

6 Jan 2010

Andrew Graham-Dixon

If it is still available on iPLayer than Andrew Graham-Dixon's recent series on the history of art in Spain is excellent.


24 Oct 2009

Adding multiple column calculations to ActiveScaffold

Recently I have been making great use of the excellent ActiveScaffold for a Ruby on Rails project I have been hired to create.

ActiveScaffold (AS) makes it really easily to do a calculation on the columns, for example displaying the average of a column. In your controller you just need to do:

active_scaffold :sale do |config|
config.columns[:product_profit].calculate = :avg

However my client wanted both averages and totals at the bottom, so From reading the documentation and a quick web search it didn't look to be a pre-built way to do this, so I had to look at customising the ActiveScaffold.

I wanted to be able to set calculate the standard way with a single option, or have an array of options:

config.columns[:chassis_profit].calculate = :avg
config.columns[:chassis_profit].calculate = [:sum, :avg]

The answer was to be found in vendor/plugins/active_scaffold/frontends/default/views/_list_calculations.html.erb. This file was responsible for calling the caluation and displaying the result. The chosen calculation option was accessable via column.calculate. I needed a way to handle both single values and arrays. The following code allowed me to iterate over an array, but still works if column.calculate was a single value:

<% for calculation_type in [*column.calculate] -%>
column.calculate = calculation_type
<% end -%>

As I looped over the array I set column.calculate to each single value, so I did not affect the way AS worked.

23 Oct 2009

Things to look at


Some thoughts to flesh out

  1. Adding win states and game-like mechanics into stuff to postively encourage peoples actions (for example: visible energy usage meters, displaying current MPG in cars, points & badges in software). This idea seems to have the potential to be very powerful.
  2. If you yourself want to make a positive impact and a meaningful footprint on the world, you need to recruit people that will also take action. You need to be offering those people a compelling goal, one that will also offer them the oppurtunity to be part of history. Your goal, your message needs to be clear.
  3. Retail anchor tenants (i.e. you have a new shopping centre and literally pay a big brand to move in). Again seems a powerful idea if transposed into other fields.

10 Oct 2009

More books

There seems to be a theme with many of the books I really enjoy. They give you some insight into things really are; just science and figures, no fluff.

26 Sep 2009

My recent TV viewing

The Love of Money
Three part documnetary about the recent financial crisis:
1/3. Why the collapse of Lehman Brothers had disastrous consequences for the world's economy.
2/3. Examining the boom years before the global crash, with testimony from key decision makers.
3/3. The story of how politicians reacted to the crash, and what has been learnt from it.

Alone in the Wild

Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers

Economy Gastronomy

Jamie's American Road Trip
Jamie Oliver tours parts of America not often seen on TV and enjoys some of the unique food

Jonathan Meades: Off Kilter
1/3. Architecture critic Jonathan Meades takes a quixotic tour of Scotland.
2/3. On the isle of Lewis and Harris, Meades discovers serenity, Calvinism and peat bog bodies.
3/3. Meades celebrates an oil refinery and takes potshots at overpaid footballers.

Peep Show - Season 6