The UK contributed £46.6 billion in motoring taxes to the Treasury in 2012, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association's (ACEA) latest figures.

That contribution makes up for nearly 8% of all the tax collected by the government that year, and the UK's motoring-derived tax take was almost the same as government defence spending, which totalled at £46.4bn.

A detailed breakdown of the tax collected shows that the largest amount raised from UK motorists was from the sale of fuels and lubricants, which came to £26 billion.

That was followed by VAT on vehicle sales, servicing, repairs, parts and tyres, which made up £12.5 billion. £5.8 billion was spent on annual ownership taxes and taxes filed under "other" comprised of £1.5 billion.

When the UK's £46.6 motoring tax take is divided by the UK's 63.7 million population in 2012, it shows £731 per head was contributed to the total sum.

Motoring taxes raised by the UK and 13 other European Union countries, including Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and France, amounted to a huge £248 billion.

Germany's drivers contributed the most with €80 billion (£57 billion) in 2012, followed by Italy with €70.5 billion (£50.6 billion) in 2013, and France with €69.5 billion (£54.3 billion), also in 2013.

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