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Much Room for Improvement

In India we pay one of the highest road taxes on cars in the world. If that is not enough, the government charges toll on our highways. The FASTag system is another pain. More often than not the sensors at toll booths fail to read FASTag. Then the attendant comes out and scans it with a hand-held device.

As automotive journalists we keep driving new cars every week and most cars do not come with a FASTag stuck to the windscreen. We do not expect the manufacturers to pay toll for us when we are testing a car; however, whenever I present the FASTag from my personal car, the toll operators do not accept it and make me pay double the amount.

It is ridiculous for us to buy a FASTag for a car that is going to be with us for three to four days. Moreover, it is preposterous to charge someone double the amount even if they present a FASTag. What is the problem if I present a FASTag issued with a different registration number so long as there is sufficient balance in the account and I am willing to pay the toll? The toll attendants on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway are very adamant about the FASTag being issued for the same car.

The government has recovered more that cent per cent of the cost, yet it keeps increasing the toll. Now, with the new tunnel coming up, we will have to pay toll for the next 50 years.

Last month I was in Italy to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Lamborghini and to drive some of their cars. In the days gone by, an SUV used to be an off-road vehicle. Then luxury car manufacturers started making luxury cars on stilts and called them luxury SUV. Now Lamborghini have taken the SUV to another level by putting a supercar on stilts with the Urus line-up.


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