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Creative thinking can combat emissions taxes

Date: 08 February 2008

The Insider is a fleet manager with years of invaluable experience

Growing resentment at the rising tide of carbon taxes has prompted Insider to come up with a few ideas for legal dodging

My 2008 prediction: we'll be subjected to at least two more CO2-based 'tax initiatives' by the end of the year, as well as hearing proposals for another eight. Enough. It's time I gave some thought to legal evasion.

Some of history's most inspired fiscal thinking has stemmed from the wish to dodge an excise bullet (as well as some pretty uninspired ones - bricking up windows to avoid the 17th century window tax was hardly clear thinking). Of course, modern solutions need a planet-soothing element, so I've included the requisite number of renewable power sources in the plans.

First off, business parking tax. Nottingham City Council's threat to charge £185 per space per year from 2010 is pernicious enough to warrant a clever dodge, so here's mine. Because the car is a wasted space when parked, I propose a building whereby the car becomes the office. At night the company HQ is merely a multi-storey shell of interlinked corridors. In the morning an elevator system similar to that found in modern drinks machines slots in each arriving car, which then becomes the driver's office. Obviously, we'll need a few modifications to the car, but not that many. Oh, and because fuel-cells will be the energy source du jour, the car will power the office. More cars, more power needed, more power provided.

“Stop providing cars and offer bikes instead. These will come with the option of a four-seat, enclosed plastic shell, 4.2m long by 2.1m wide”

The Insider

Next, congestion charging. Cars do cause congestion, but mopeds really don't, so here's the plan. Use a built-in moped that you undock from the car close to the charge zone. There's a weight issue, but that diminishes when you learn that the 250cc engine has, in fact, been topping up the car's hybrid battery throughout its journey. This will also avoid those infuriating CO2-based (or - thanks Norwich - length-based) street-parking charges.

Road-pricing is another tax danger threatening our sanity, so here's my answer. Land ferries. We will link up with other companies to provide car transporters at motorway junctions. Fill up the transporter with company cars, fit the cab with wi-fi to for those wanting to kill the 56mph-induced boredom with a spot of work, then simply unload at the end. Wind turbines provide electricity to the cars.

Finally, company car tax itself. We stop providing company cars and instead offer bicycles. These will come with the option of a four-seat, enclosed plastic shell measuring 4.2m long and 2.1m wide. Power is either via the pedals or - expected to be the more popular option - an on-board nuclear generator. Patents are pending.