Motorists could face a two-tier road tax under proposals reportedly being considered by the Government.
Press reports suggest drivers could be offered a lower rate of the tax if they agree not to use the country's trunk road network of major A-roads and motorways. Those paying a higher rate of vehicle excise duty would be free to use any roads.
A network of automatic numberplate recognition cameras could be used to catch any drivers who were using the motorways without paying the higher rate.
An unnamed Department for Transport source is quoted in the Sunday Times as saying: "There are lots of options being looked at, but this is absolutely not about paying more than motorists pay at the moment."
A spokesman for the department said: "The department and Treasury are currently carrying out a feasibility study to review new ownership and financing models for the strategic road network. This is looking at how best we can secure investment in the network to increase capacity and boost economic growth.
"The Government has made clear it will not implement tolls on existing road capacity and has no plans to replace existing motoring taxes with pay-as-you-go road charging."