UK Car Tax Bands: What You Need to Know

The cost of car tax, on top of the car's value itself and your insurance policy can be a hefty amount to pay out making owning a vehicle an expensive affair. However, it is essential to all motorists to help keep our roads safe and maintained, but the price can vary from model to model. Car’s registered since 2001 are taxed according to the amount of carbon emissions they produce, meaning if you know your vehicle’s tailpipe emissions, you could calculate the amount of road tax you’re required to pay, but that’s highly unlikely for most motorists. New rules and tax bands (also referred to as Vehicle Excise Duty) introduced in April 2017 were put in place by the government for all new vehicles purchased from that date onwards, meaning if you have a newer car, the way your vehicle is allocated tax rates may be different.

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How much is road tax for my car

If you’re looking to find out how much you’re required to pay for car tax, you should begin by finding out when the car was first registered, by looking in the vehicle logbook. The date on which the car was registered will determine which of the following three tax regimes it falls under:


Registered before March 2001

All cars registered before March 2001 fall under the first tax regime; these tax rates are based on the size of the vehicle’s engine rather than CO2 emissions. All cars with a capacity lower than 1,549cc have an annual road tax cost of £145, anything with a capacity greater than 1,549cc will have an annual road tax cost of £230 per year


Registered between March 2001 - March 2017

All cars registered between March 2001 and the end of March 2017 have a first-year, and then a yearly rate based on CO2 emissions, with lower emission vehicles being taxed considerably less.

VEO BandCO2 EmissionsAnnual RateFirst 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

Registered after 1st April 2017

The new tax regime applies to cars registered after 1st April 2017. Cars registered from the 1st onwards will continue to be taxed based on their amount of CO2 emissions, but will now face more expensive rates. After the first year, most of these vehicles will then default to a flat tax rate of £140. Zero emission vehicles will remain tax-free under the new system.

2017 road tax system

The new tax costs are based on how many grams of carbon dioxide the vehicles produce per kilometre. Simply put, the less CO2 your car produces, the less tax you will ultimately have to pay!

Vehicles in this band will need to pay a first-year tax rate, and then a yearly flat rate of £140 or £130 for alternative fuel vehicles. Registered after 1st April 2017

Cars with a list price of £40,000 or over also need to pay an additional £310 every year for the first five years of its registration. In these instances, the overall amount that car owners will be required to pay for the first five years are as follows:

  • Electric / Zero Emission Cars: £310 per year
  • Alternative Fuel Cars: £440 per year
  • Petrol / Diesel Cars: £450 per year

After the first five years of the car’s registration, the additional rates will be removed and the overall tax costs will return to £0, £130 and £140 respectively.

The Government defines the list price as the price of the vehicle including manufacturer fitted options, delivery and delivery fees, before any discounts.

Emissions (g/km of CO2)First year rateStandard Rate
0 £0 £0
1-50 £10 £140 (£130 for vehicles
using an alternative
fuel source: hybrids,
plug-ins, bioethanol
and LPG)
51-75 £25
76-90 £100
91-100 £120
101-110 £140
111-130 £160
131-150 £200
151-170 £500
171-190 £800
191-225 £1,200
226-255 £1,700
Over 255 £2,000

If you find yourself paying too much tax, or you no longer need to pay it for any particular reason, for example you have sold your car, you will be happy to hear that you can request a refund.

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