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CAR TAX RATES

How much is car tax (VED)?

Car tax for new cars first registered since April 2017 depends on list price and CO2 emissions

What decides how much car tax I pay?

It depends when the car was first registered:

What are the current car tax (VED) rules?
  • The first year rate is based on official CO2 figures
  • For new diesel cars that don't meet the latest (RDE2) emissions standards the first year rate assumes that the CO2 emissions are one band higher than indicated by official figures. (Cars that meet RDE2 aren't expected to be available until 2019 at the earliest).
  • A flat standard rate of £140 (£145 from 1 April 2019) applies to all cars except those with CO2 emissions of zero for which the standard rate is £0.
  • An extra charge of £310 (£320 from 1 April 2019) a year applies to cars with a list price over £40,000 in the first 5 ‘standard rate years’.
  • The latest VED rules in detail
Why are new diesel cars taxed differently?

In the Autumn 2017 budget the Chancellor announced an increase in the first year VED rate for new diesel cars first registered after 1 April 2018.

The emissions test that Euro 6 diesel cars have to pass before they're approved for sale includes a more demanding, on-road 'Real Driving Emissions (RDE)' test from September 2017. This test is set to become even more stringent from January 2020 when 'RDE step 2' comes into force.

To encourage car manufacturers to introduce cleaner, RDE2 diesels earlier, the CO2-based first year VED rate for diesel cars first registered after 1 April 2018 will be one band higher than shown in the table unless the car was approved to the RDE step 2 standard.

Car tax

VED basics 

All vehicles registered in the UK and used on public roads must be taxed.

If you’re not using it, you must either let the DVLA know that your car's being kept off-road with a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) or continue to tax it.

  • The cost of car tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) depends on how old your vehicle is and its engine size or official CO2 emissions. Since April 2017 it depends on the car’s list price when new, too.
  • The official CO2 figure for your car is on the V5c registration document. It’s measured in official tests before a new model can be put on sale.  
  • The DVLA stopped issuing paper tax discs from 1 October 2014.

The current car tax rules in detail

If you buy a new car today or buy a used car that was first registered since 1 April 2017:

  • The first year rate (the VED paid at first registration) is based on official CO2 figures
  • A flat standard rate of £140 (£145 from 1 April 2019) applies to all cars except those with CO2 emissions of zero for which the standard rate is £0.
  • An extra charge of £310 (£320 from 1 April 2019) a year applies to cars with a list price over £40,000 in the first 5 ‘standard rate years’.
  • Alternative fuel cars (tax class 59) pay £10 less than the First year and standard rates below.

 CO2 emissions  First year rate*
 (2019 rate**)
 Standard rate
 (2019 rate**)
 0  £0 (£0)  £0 (£0)
 1-50  £10 (£10) £140 (£145)
 51-75  £25 (£25)  £140 (£145)
 76-90  £105 (£110)  £140 (£145)
 91-100  £125 (£130)  £140 (£145)
 101-110  £145 (£150)  £140 (£145)
 110-130  £165 (£170)  £140 (£145)
 131-150  £205 (£210)  £140 (£145)
 151-170  £515 (£530)  £140 (£145)
 171-190  £830 (£855)  £140 (£145)
 191-225  £1240 (£1280)  £140 (£145)
 226-255  £1760 (£1815)  £140 (£145)
 256+  £2070 (£2135)

 £140 (£145)

Notes

* For diesel cars first registered after 1 April 2018, the CO2-based first year rate of VED will be one band higher than shown in the table unless the car was approved to the RDE step 2 standard.

** 2019 rates apply from 1 April 2019


Car tax for cars first registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 March 2017

Your car will fall into one of a series of bands based on official CO2 emissions.

A different first year rate, payable at first registration only and sometimes called the 'showroom tax', was introduced in 2010.

Pre-2018/19 rates are shown only for comparison purposes

 VED Band

 CO2

Emissions (g/km)

2015/2016

First year rate²

2015/16

standard rate¹

2016/2017

First year rate²

 2016/17

Standard rate¹

 2017/18

Standard rate¹

 2018/19

Standard rate¹

 2019/20

Standard rate¹

 A  up to 100  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
 B  101-110  0  £20  0  £20  £20  £20  £20
 C  111-120  0  £30  0  £30  £30  £30  £30
 D  121-130  0  £110  0  £110  £115  £120  £125
 E  131-140  £130  £130  £130  £130  £135  £140  £145
 F  141-150  £145  £145  £145  £145  £150  £155  £160
 G  151-165  £180  £180  £185  £185  £190  £195  £200
 H  166-175  £295  £205  £300  £210  £220  £230  £235
 I  176-185  £350  £225  £355  £230  £240  £250  £260
 J  186-200  £490  £265  £500  £270  £280  £290  £300
   201-225  £640  £290  £650  £295  £305  £315  £325
 L  226-255  £870  £490  £885  £500  £520  £540  £555
 M  over 255  £1100  £505  £1120  £515  £535  £555  £570

Notes

1 12-month single payment rate. Alternative fuel car (tax class 59) discounts were/are £10 all cars  2015/20

2 Included cars producing over 225g/km and first registered between 1 March 2001 and 23 March 2006.


Car tax for cars first registered before 1 March 2001

Car tax is based on engine size, as official CO2 data wasn’t generally available. So, if the engine is:

  • 1549cc or smaller:  £155 a year (£160 2019/20 rate)
  • Bigger than 1549cc: £255 a year (£265 2019/20rate)

Historic vehicle exemption

Cars built before 1 January 1979 are exempt from 1 April 2019.

Is it car tax or road tax?

Cars started being taxed in 1920 as local councils had to start registering all vehicles. It was called Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and was based on horsepower. Tax discs were later introduced in 1921.

This new tax was initially used for building and maintaining roads. As it was paid directly into the ‘road fund’ it was known as the Road Fund Licence or road tax. 

In 1936, road works were being paid for by government grants. As the road fund wasn’t needed any more, it was abolished in 1955. So while it might have been right to refer to it as road tax or the Road Fund Licence before 1936, this hasn’t been the case since.

When did DVLA stop issuing tax discs?

One of the biggest changes in DVLA history was the abolition of the 93-year-old tax disc, on 1 October 2014.

Also, the DVLA now issues automatic refunds on car tax – for any full months left – to the registered keeper when a vehicle is sold, scrapped or a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) is made. In the past, when you bought a used vehicle, the tax disc and any unexpired tax remained valid.

Updated 11 March 2019

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