Car tax

Vehicle excise duty rates (2016/17) - how much will you pay?

Car tax rates are based on official CO2 emissions data

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.

March 2016

In the 2016 budget the chancellor made two announcements about VED:

Classic vehicle exemption

The government will legislate to place the classic vehicle VED exemption on a permanent basis from 1 April 2017, so that from 1 April each year vehicles constructed more than 40 years before the 1 January of that year will automatically be exempt from paying VED. (It is currently up to registered keepers to apply to tax a vehicle in the historic class)

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates and bands

From 1 April 2016, VED rates for cars, vans, motorcycles and motorcycle trade licences will increase by RPI.

Car first registered after 1 March 2001

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.

Current VED bands/rates


first year
first year
 A  up to 100  0  0  0  0
 B  101-110  0  £20  0  £20
 C  111-120  0  £30  0  £30
 D  121-130  0  £110  0  £110
 E  131-140  £130  £130  £130  £130
 F  141-150  £145  £145  £145  £145
 G  151-165  £180  £180  £185  £185
 H  166-175  £295  £205  £300  £210
 I  176-185  £350  £225  £355  £230
 J  186-200  £490  £265  £500  £270
 K3  201-225  £640  £290  £650  £295
 L  226-255  £870  £490  £885  £500
 M  over 255
 £1100  £505  £1120  £515

1 12 month non-direct debit rate and single 12 month payment direct debit rate. Alternative fuel car discounts: 2015/16 £10 all cars, 2016/17 £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.

Car first registered before 1 March 2001

For cars first registered before 1 March 2001 car tax is based on engine size as official CO2 data is not available.

  • Engine 1549cc or smaller – 2016/17 rate = £145 per year
  • Engine bigger than 1549cc – 2016/17 rate = £235 per year

Official CO2 data

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 car 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.

Buy a used car from a name you can trust

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No more paper tax discs

From 1 October 2014 DVLA stopped issuing paper tax discs.

Check vehicle tax status »

More about abolition of the tax disc »

Taxing your car

You may be able to renew your Car Tax online

You can also apply for a tax disc at your local Post Office®.

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:

  • a valid certificate of insurance or a cover note
  • your MOT test certificate
  • the appropriate fee

For more details visit the DVLA website.

'Car tax' or 'Road tax'?

Motor vehicle excise duty was introduced in 1920 when local councils first had to register all vehicles. Based on engine horsepower the new tax was initially ring-fenced for road building and maintenance – paid directly into the ‘road fund’ it was known as the Road Fund Licence. Tax discs were introduced in 1921.

Since 1936 though, Vehicle Excise Duty has been treated as general taxation.  The road fund for road building and maintenance continued but was funded by government grants until it was abolished in 1955.

So while it might have been appropriate to refer to this tax as Road Tax or the Road Fund Licence before 1936, this has not been the case since.

Car tax/Vehicle tax/Vehicle Excise Duty/VED is a tax paid to obtain a tax disc before you can use a motor vehicle on public roads.


Summer budget 2015

The chancellor announced significant changes to the VED system for new cars registered from 1 April 2017.

  • First year rates of VED will vary according to the official CO2 emissions of the vehicle.
  • There will be a flat standard rate of £140 for all cars except those emitting 0 grams CO2/km for which the standard rate will be £0.
  • Cars with a list price above £40,000 will attract a supplement of £310 per year for the first 5 years in which the standard rate is paid.
  • The new VED system will be reviewed as necessary to "ensure that it continues to incentivise the cleanest cars".
  • Cars first registered before 1 April 2017 will continue to pay VED under the current system - based on engine size if registered before 1 March 2001 and official CO2 emissions if first registered after 1 March 2001.

[8 July 2015]

New rates/bands (from April 2017)

CO2 emissions

First year rate

Standard rate*





































256 +



* Cars over £40,000 pay £310 supplement for first 5 years at standard rate.

March budget 2015

From 1 April 2015 VED rates for cars, vans, motorcycles and motorcycle trade licences will increase by RPI. Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) VED and Road User Levy rates will be frozen for one year.

As announced at Budget 2014, from 1 April 2016 a vehicle manufactured before 1 January 1976 will be exempt from paying VED.

[18 March 2015]

Earlier budgets

It was announced in the 2014 Budget that Vehicle Excise Duty Rates will increase by RPI indexation. The new rates are shown in the table.

In addition the Chancellor announced the introduction of a rolling 40 year VED exemption for classic vehicles from 1 April 2014.

The Chancellor also confirmed the introduction of legislation to allow motorists to pay VED by direct debit annually, biannually or monthly with a 5% surcharge for biannual and monthly payments.

It was announced in the 2013 Budget that Vehicle Excise Duty Rates will increase by RPI indexation.

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.

Historic vehicle VED exemption

Budget 2014 announced the introduction of a rolling 40 year exemption of VED on classic vehicles.

The DVLA doesn't automatically update the record. It is up to the registered keeper of an eligible vehicle to apply to tax their vehicle in the historic tax class.

To tax an eligible vehicle as historic for the first time you will need to send the following to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1DZ:

  • Vehicle registration certificate (V5C) – this must clearly show that the vehicle was made or first registered more than 40 years earlier (before 1 January 1975 in 2015).
  • An appropriate test certificate (for example, an MoT certificate, if the vehicle needs one by law).
  • A certificate of insurance or cover note
  • A filled-in ‘Application for vehicle tax’ form (V10)

For more detailed information see DVLA leaflet INF34

(Updated 24 August 2016)