UK VED car tax bands explained

9 Jul, 2015 2:20pm Martin Saarinen

Our quick guide to the UK's CO2 emissions-based VED road tax bands and costs, both now and in the future

Understanding how much your VED car tax costs can be more than a little confusing. Road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty as it’s officially known, is something almost all motorists need to pay, though. That’s why we’ve compiled this quick online guide to today's VED tax bands, the car tax rates and what the future holds following the next round of revisions

Car tax, or VED rates are based on either engine size or fuel type and CO2 emissions, depending on when the vehicle was registered. If your car was first registered before 1st March 2001, your car tax rate is based on the car's engine size - whether it is below or above 1,549cc. You will pay an annual fee of £230 if your car engine exceeds 1,549cc and £145 if your engine is below the cut-off size.

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Tax bands for cars registered after March 2001

If your car was registered on or after March 1st 2001, the rates are split into car tax bands depending on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the vehicle. These emissions are measured by how many grams are emitted from the exhaust for every kilometre travelled (g/km). 

In simple terms, the lower the car's emissions, the lower the vehicle tax band and the less you pay. There are two elements to tax rates, though. There's a main tax rate and a first year rate which can be more or less than the normal rate payable on new cars for the first 12 months of ownership.

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In some cases, the first year will cost you nothing in tax, but the following year could land you with a higher rate, depending on the car's emissions. There are also separate tax bands for alternative fuel vehicles, motorcycles and commercial vehicles.

Our table below shows the standard rates of vehicle tax for cars registered on or after 1st March 2001 - you can calculate the tax rate for your car from this. 

Current vehicle VED tax bands: table 

CO2 Emissions in g/km (tax band) First year rate Annual rate
Up to 100 (A) £0 £0
101-110 (B) £0 £20
111-120 (C) £0 £30
121-130 (D) £0 £110
131-140 (E) £130 £130
141-150 (F) £145 £145
151-165 (G) £180 £180
166-175 (H) £295 £205
176-185 (I) £350 £225
186-200 (J) £490 £265
201-225 (K) £640 £290
226-255 (L) £870 £490
Over 255 (M) £1,100 £505

Tax bands for cars registered after April 2017

The July 8 2015 revisions to the car tax system by George Osborne will continue to tax new vehicles by their CO2 emissions, but at new rates from 2017 onwards. The VED scheme was revised for 2017 to account for the growing number of tax-exempt cars being purchased.

The new VED bands will apply to all cars registered from 1 April 2017 onwards. A CO2 based rate will still mandate the first year fee – but only zero emissions vehicles will be exempt from the tax. Cars registered before April 1st 2017 will continue to be taxed under the old system.

After the first year, a flat fee of £140 applies for all vehicles not categorised as zero emissions. The revenue from the revised VED scheme will flow into a new road fund for road repairs and maintenance.

Buyers of cars with a list price above £40,000 will be required to pay an extra £310 every year for the first five years. 

VED tax bands: April 2017 onwards: table

VED car tax bands for cars first registered from 2017 onwards
Emissions (g/km of CO2) First year rate Standard rate
0 £0 £0
1-50 £10 £140
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
Cars above £40,000 pay £310 annual supplement for five years

Read the full story on the death of the tax disc and the UK's car tax system here...