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How Much is My Car Tax?

Road tax is required for almost all vehicles driven on public roads.  The precise amount liable may vary with the government's annual budget announcement, but in general the tax will depend on the car's tax band. This, in turn, is determined by the vehicle type, age and carbon dioxide emissions.

Who doesn't have to pay road tax?

There are a few situations in which you may qualify for an exemption from road tax payments or at least a greatly discounted vehicle tax bracket. This situation can arise in the following cases:

  • Historical Vehicle Classification - Vehicle was constructed prior to 1 January 1973
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Mowing Machines
  • Steam Vehicles
  • Agricultural, Horticultural and Forestry machinery
  • Vehicles Used by Disabled Drivers - including motability scooter etc

What aspects effect the level of road tax you will pay?

Motorcycles have their tax liability determined by their engine size.  There are four bands ranging from less than 150 cc to the top band for bikes with engines larger than 600 cc.  Cars registered before March 2001 also have their tax liability determined by their engine size.  Those above 1549 cc are liable for a higher rate. Really old cars, specifically those registered before 1973, can be classed as historic vehicles and are tax exempt.
 

Tax Prices for Cars registered before 1 March 2001 (information from www.direct.gov.uk)

 Engine Size (cc)  12 Month Rate  6 Month Rate 
Not Over 1549 £135.00 £74.25
Over 1549 £220.00 £121.00

 

How are tax brackets decided for more modern cars?

For the majority of vehicles, that is to say those registered after March 2001, the tax band will depend on its carbon dioxide emissions as the government aims to curb greenhouse gases.  The higher the emissions, the higher and more expensive the tax band, although very low emission cars are charged no tax at all.  Brand new cars are subject to a separate first year tariff.  This can be quite steep compared to the standard tax bands, particularly for high polluting vehicles.  Information on the carbon dioxide emissions can be found on the vehicle registration certificate, or by entering the make and registration number onto the DVLA's website. Light vehicle owners will need to know not just the emissions level, but whether it meets the specific Euro 4 or Euro 5 environmental ratings.

Tax Prices for Cars registered on or after 1 March 2001 (information from www.direct.gov.uk)

Petrol car (TC48) and diesel car (TC49)

BANDCO2 Emissions (g/km)12 month rate6 month rate
A Up to 100 £0.00 n/a
B 101-110 £20.00 n/a
C 111-120 £30.00 n/a
D 121-130 £100.00 £55.00
E 131-140 £120.00 £66.00
F 141-150 £135.00 £74.25
G 151-165 £170.00 £93.50
H 166-175 £195.00 £107.25
I 176-185 £215.00 £118.25
J 186-200 £250.00 £137.50
K* 201-225 £270.00 £148.50
L 226-255 £460.00 253.00
M Over 255 £475.00 261.25

 

* Band K includes cars that have a CO2 figure over 225g/km but were registered before 23 March 2006

Alternative fuel car (TC59)

BANDCO2 Emissions (g/km)12 month rate6 month rate
A Up to 100 £0.00 n/a
B 101-110 £10.00 n/a
C 111-120 £20.00 n/a
D 121-130 £90.00 £49.50
E 131-140 £110.00 £60.50
F 141-150 £125.00 £68.75
G 151-165 £160.00 £88.00
H 166-175 £185.00 £101.75
I 176-185 £205.00 £112.75
J 186-200 £240.00 £132.00
K* 201-225 £260.00 £143.00
L 226-255 £450.00 247.50
M Over 255 £465.00 255.75


Further Road Tax Information

For further information on variable first year tax rates for cars registered since 1 April 2010, as well as tax rates for motorcycles and commercial vehicles, visit the Direct Gov website.

Road tax is a necessary and mostly unavoidable expense for anyone who wants to drive on public roads.  To save money on motoring it is best to look elsewhere for savings.  Taking advantage regular car services will save money in the long term by keeping the car running efficiently and staving off the chances of a catastrophic, and expensive breakdown.

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