Guide to taxing a van

Find out what you need to know about vehicle excise duty – or ‘road tax’ – for your van. 

Find out what you need to know about vehicle excise duty – or ‘road tax’ – for your van. 

Daniel Hutson
Head of Motor Insurance
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Posted 4 OCTOBER 2019

What is vehicle excise duty?

Vehicle excise duty (VED) is a tax that’s charged annually on nearly all vehicles driven, or kept, on public roads in the UK. The tax is overseen by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

How is VED worked out for vans?

Van drivers have to pay VED based on three things: the date their van was registered, the vehicle’s size and how it meets emissions guidelines. Note that the following rules relate to commercial vans and pick-up vehicles that weigh less than 3,500kg.  

If your van was registered before 1 March 2001, you’ll pay one of two rates for road tax, depending on your engine’s size:

  • If your van’s engine is up to and including 1,549cc, you’ll pay £155 in vehicle exercise duty (VED) for 12 months, or £85.25 for six months.
  • For engine sizes above 1,549cc, it will cost £255 to tax the van for 12 months, or £140.25 for six months.

Be aware that some commercial vans will fall under a different classification. A car-derived van that weighs less than two tonnes will fall under the rules of a car’s road tax. Examples of this type of vehicle include the Renault Clio van and the Ford Fiesta van. Most van models with rear seats are also taxed in the same way as cars.  

The easiest way to confirm your vehicle’s classification is by checking its V5C registration document. If it’s says ‘N1’ or N2’, it will be taxed as a van.

What else should I be aware of with VED?

There are exemptions to the costs above, which will depend on whether your van met certain emission rules at a set time period.  

If you have a van that’s fully-electric, then you don’t have to pay VED. However, you’ll still have to apply for road tax before you drive your van – it just won’t cost you anything.

The DVLA’s website has a tool that can help you calculate a vehicle’s tax rate.

Compare van insurance

Getting the right tax is only one of the steps you need to take before your van is ready to drive. You’ll need to make sure you have van insurance in place. Our easy-to-use comparison service can show you van insurance quotes from a range of providers, to help you find a competitive deal on a policy that meets your needs.

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