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Car tax rates are based on official CO2 emissions data
A vehicle registered in the UK must be taxed if it is used or kept on a public road.
A vehicle kept off-road must either be taxed or have a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification).
Known formally as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) or Graduated VED, the amount of car tax you pay depends on the car's engine size or official CO2 emissions and the date of first registration.
If the car was registered on or after 1 March 2001, there's a series of car tax bands based on fuel type and CO2 emission levels.
It was announced in the Budget that Vehicle Excise Duty Rates will increase by RPI indexation. The new rates are shown in the table.
|A||up to 100||0||0||0||0|
|M|| over 255
1Alternative fuel car discounts: 2009/10 £20 bands A - I, £15 bands J - M; 2010/11 £10 all cars; 2011/12 £10 all cars, 2012/13 £10 all cars, 2013/14 £10 all cars.
2First year rate or 'showroom tax' applies to new car purchases only. Rate reverts to 'standard rate' in subsequent years.
3Includes cars emitting over 225g/km and first registered between 1 March 2001 and 23 March 2006.
For cars first registered before 1 March 2001 car tax is based on engine size as official CO2 data is not available.
Official CO2 emissions levels are measured when the model is tested for 'type approval' before it goes on sale and it is this official figure only that's used to determine road tax rates.
The official CO2 emissions figure can be found on the V5C vehicle registration document.
Websites comparing vehicle specifications can be a useful guide when you're thinking about changing your car but CO2 emissions change with model year, trim levels and transmission so you should always check with the dealer or refer to the V5C for the specific vehicle you're buying if the level of CO2 emissions is important to you.
You may be able to renew your Road Tax online
You can also apply for a tax disc at your local post office or DVLA branch.
You must have the tax reminder (V11 licence renewal reminder).
If you haven't received a V11 tax reminder you'll need to complete the V5C registration document or the green section (V5/2) and will also have to fill in a V10 'application for a vehicle licence'.
If you've recently bought a new car and you're waiting for the V5C to be returned from the DVLA, you'll need a V5/2 new keeper's supplement.
If you don't have the V5C or V5/2, you can't tax the car at a post office. You will have to apply to the DVLA for a new V5C, which could take six weeks to arrive.
You must also have:
For more details visit the DVLA website.
From 1 April 2010 there is a different rate of VED payable for the first vehicle licence taken out at registration for some cars. This has been referred to by some as the 'showroom tax', applies only to the first licence on a brand new car and is shown in the table above.
From April 2010 six-month licences will not be available for vehicles licensed for the first time in bands A to D or H to M.
Refunds for cars in bands H to M (where the first year rate is higher than the standard rate) will be calculated as a proportion of the standard rate applicable to that vehicle. If however the car is stolen, scrapped or becomes eligible for a nil licence then the refund will be calculated according to the full amount paid.
For vehicles first registered in the UK on or after 1 April 2010 but previously registered abroad, VED will be calculated according to the original date of registration abroad.
Vehicles already registered in the UK, currently licensed in bands L or M and first registered abroad prior to 23 March 2006 will be moved into band K when they relicence after 1 April 2010
The November 2008 pre-budget statement included the statement that cars emitting over 225g/km and first registered between 1 March 2001 and 23 March 2006 will go into band 'K', at least until 2010/11. Under an earlier proposal (March 2008 Budget) these cars would have moved into band 'L' or 'M' depending on official CO2 emissions.
(Updated 20 March 2013)