A simples guide

How much is it to tax my car?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a driver in possession of a car must be in want of car tax. Sadly, though it’s not an endearing romance, more a marriage of necessity – if you own and drive a car – you’ll need it taxed, end of story. But working out your car tax cost can be a tad confusing – so many rules, so many numbers, so we’ve put this together because we like the simples things in life and we think working out your car tax should be too.

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How much will my car cost me to tax?

All cars driven and kept on public roads need to be taxed. If your car was registered before 1 March 2001 then your car tax or ‘vehicle excise duty’ (VED) as it’s formally known, is based on the size of your car’s engine.

A car with an engine 1549cc or under will cost you £145 to tax for the year, if the engine’s bigger than 1549cc then you’ll pay £235. If you decide to pay in instalments, you’ll be charged more.

If your car was registered on or after 1 March 2001 then your car will be in one of 13 car tax bands – A through to M. Which one it’s in, will depend on what its CO2 emissions are (CO2 is what contributes to climate change). Emissions are measured in grams released per kilometre (g/km) and you can find out what your car’s emitting from your V5C logbook.

Cars are charged a ‘first year rate’ which only applies to the first 12 months of a car’s life (it’s year of registration) after that, a ‘standard rate’ applies. The good news is, that cars in bands A through to D pay £0 for the first year (bands B,C and D are then charged at the standard rate after this, band A cars are exempt from car tax).

The bad news applies to bands H through to M where you’ll pay a premium for your car. The table below shows the first year and standard rates for current car tax bands (owners of cars in groups H-M may want to look away now).

If you drive an alternative fuel car such as LPG or a hybrid, then you’ll pay £10 less per band.

Cars registered on or after 1 March 2001 (petrol and diesel)

Band

CO2 emissions g/km

First year rate

Standard rate

A

Up to 100

£0

£0

B

101-110

£0

£20

C

111-120

£0

£30

D

121-130

£0

£110

E

131-140

£130

£130

F

141-150

£145

£145

G

151-165

£185

£185

H

166-175

£300

£210

I

176-185

£355

£230

J

186-200

£500

£270

K

201-225

£650

£295

L

226-255

£885

£500

M

Over 255

£1,120

£515

 

Are there any cars exempt from car tax?

If you’re conscientious enough to own a car in band A, then you are exempt from car tax (lucky you). If you have a disability, you may be exempt from paying car tax too – you can find out more from Gov.UK, vehicles exempt from vehicle tax.

And for anyone with an ancient rust bucket in the garage – good news – because ‘classic’ cars (or cars aged 40 years or more) are also exempt from car tax. Although whether that dodgy looking antique your Nan’s got is a ‘classic’ is debatable.

You won’t need to tax your car if you’ve declared a SORN against it or ‘statutory off road notice’. A SORN is applicable if you’ve decided to take your vehicle off the road (you know, just in case it needs a little rest). Your vehicle will need to be kept on a private drive, land or garage. If it’s parked on a public road, you’ll still need to tax it – even if you aren’t driving it.

car and money

Changes from April 2017

Just to keep you on your toes, the government has announced changes to the car tax system from April 2017. Instead of the 13 bands, there’ll be a first year rate based on the CO2 emissions of your car with subsequent years subject to a standard flat rate of £140. Zero emissions cars will be exempt from car tax.

If you have a car with a list price of more than £40,000 then you might want to forewarn your bank manager, because you’ll pay a supplemental £310 on top of the £140 standard rate for the first five years – ouch.

So, for the curious and anyone who likes to plan ahead, here’s a look at the new car tax system from April 2017:

Cars registered from April 2017

Emission g/km

First year rate

Standard rate

0

£0

£0

1-50

£10

£140

51-75

£25

£140

76-90

£100

£140

91-100

£120

£140

101-110

£140

£140

111-130

£160

£140

131-150

£200

£140

151-170

£500

£140

171-190

£800

£140

191-225

£1,200

£140

226-255

£1,700

£140

Over 255

£2,000

£140

 

What else will my car cost me?

No one said owning a car was cheap and with fuel costs, car tax and maintenance, drivers have a lot on their plates (and not a lot in their wallets). But there is one thing you can try and get a really good deal on – and that’s car insurance, so just as well you’re here then, because we’re the UK’s largest comparison site, so what are you waiting for – comparethemarket.com.

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