Transport & Mobility looked at how much people in Flanders pay towards the cost to society made as a result of their use of transport. Researchers took into account the price of purchasing a car and fuel and the price of a ticket on public transport, but also indirect costs like congestion and pollution. Users pay taxes to cover items like congestion, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Often these taxes only cover a small part of the costs and the taxpayer foots most of the bill.
A motorist driving a DERV-fuelled car over 100 km racks up social costs worth 20.50 euros, but pays taxation that only covers 42% of this amount. Petrol-fuelled cars perform better with drivers paying 85% of external costs. Company cars perform worse with only 21% of external costs covered through taxation. Drivers of natural gas-fuelled cars are the worst culprits only paying 21% of social costs in this way.
Fly 100km by plane and you are running up external costs like pollution to the tune of 199 euros. Passengers only contribute 8% of this cost through their taxes.
Cyclists (even electric ones) are the stars. By cycling they contribute more to society than they take out because cyclists live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life.