DVLA car tax changes: Find out how much you will pay from April

The changes come into force on April 1.

The changes come into force on April 1.

1
Have your say

New tax rules will end up costing motorists hundreds of pounds when they come into force in April.

The DVLA’s VED car tax is set for an overhaul that means cars that previously dodged a bill will now be liable.

The environmental vehicle excise duty [VED] is intended to punish people who drive cars with high levels of emissions.

The bulk of the tax will come in the first year for most buyers of high-emission cars. Importantly this tax is only applicable on new cars – expensive and higher emission cars bought before 1 April are still covered by the lower rates.

It’s happening because of new technology

The car tax’s current bands were introduced in 2001, when most cars had higher emissions than those on the road today. Many current vehicles were judged clean enough to slip under the threshold and avoid paying the tax at all.

Back then, the average emission for a UK car was 178 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (gCO2/km), so cars that emitted less than 100 gCO2/km paid nothing at all.

But now, because of efforts to meet EU emissions targets, the average car emits only 125 gCO2/km. To make sure more cars are caught in the net, the government has adjusted the bands.

The old bands VED Band

CO2 Emissions – Annual rate – First year rate

A – Up to 100 g/km – £0 – £0

B – 101-110 g/km – £20 – £0

C – 111-120 g/km – £30 – £0

D – 121-130 g/km – £110 – £0

E – 131-140 g/km – £130 – £130

F – 141-150 g/km – £145 – £145

G – 151-165 g/km – £185 – £185

H – 166-175 g/km – £210 – £300

I – 176-185 g/km – £230 – £355

J – 186-200 g/km – £270 – £500

K – 201-225 g/km – £295 – £650

L – 226-255 g/km – £500 – £885

M – Over 255 g/km – £515 – £1,120

No car is safe

Well… electric and hydrogen cars are exempt. But everyone else will pay something. Any conventional car bought after 1 April will pay anything from £10 to thousands in the first year, then £140 every year thereafter.

A Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI S emits 105 gCO2/km. Currently it pays nothing in the first year and £20 a year afterwards. Now, it pays £140 a year, each year.

A Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi (130) N-Connecta, at 115 gCO2/km, bumps up from nothing in the first year and £30 afterwards to £160 in the first year and £140 afterwards.

Meanwhile, gas guzzlers emitting over 225 gCO2/km will see their bills hiked from £1,100 to £2,000.

The new bands

Emissions (g/km of CO2) – First year rate – Standard rate

0 – £0 – £0

1-50 – £10 – £140

51-75 – £25 – £140

76-90 – £100 – £140

91-100 – £120 – £140

101-110 – £140 – £140

111-130 – £160 – £140

131-150 – £200 – £140

151-170 – £500 – £140

171-190 – £800 – £140

191-225 – £1,200 – £140

226-255 – £1,700 – £140

Over 255 –£2,000 – £140

(Cars costing more than £40,000 pay £310 extra for five years)

More expensive cars get a bigger bill

If you’re planning to splash out on a car worth £40,000 or more, make sure you keep enough money behind to pay your tax bill.

Expensive cars cost £310 more on top of the standard rate for the first five years – and that’s before the specific emissions are taken into account.

New car buyers will pay the tax

For now, the only people who need to be worried are people planning to buy a new car. The rules kick in at the beginning of the next tax year in April, which means some prospective buyers may look to make their purchase in the next few months.

What about my current car?

If you buy it (or bought) before the beginning of April and it emits less than the old threshold of 100 gCO2/km, you’ll be free of tax for life.

If it’s above that limit, the old rates will continue to apply. The old tax bands apply, so things aren’t about to change for you – unless you decide to upgrade down the line.

Hybrids count too

Yep – the bill won’t be as big as it is for some people, but even the noble hybrid is caught in the net. A Toyota Prius MY2016 Active 1.8l will cost £100 in the first year and £140 thereafter.