Beat the road tax rise

7 Nov, 2008 12:16pm

We show you how you can cut your tax bill by choosing a greener second-hand car

The changes

The UK road tax system is heading for a shake-up as the Government attempts to drive motorists towards greener cars.

Six new categories will be added to the current seven-tier structure, making things more comprehensive and complex. All models registered since March 2001 are affected, with the new rates based on the amount of CO2 the vehicle emits.
The changes are good news for anyone who owns a car that produces less than 150g/km of CO2, because road tax for vehicles below this level remains the same or has been cut. If you buy and run a car that produces anything up to 120g/km, the most you’ll pay for road tax is £30 a year. If your model puts out between 121g/km and 140g/km, your tax bill will be somewhere from £90 to £110. Vehicles with 141-150g/km emissions will still be levied at £120.

Beyond that, however, things start to increase. For cars in band I (with CO2 of 171-180g/km), tax costs rise sharply from £170 to £205, while upper tier models emitting 256g/km-plus will be hit with a £440 levy. There is a reprieve for cars that emit more than 200g/km, but were registered from March 2001 to March 2006. They move from band F to band K – a rise of £90 – for 2009. Rates will go up again for most bands in 2010, but new cars that emit up to 130g/km will be tax-free for the first year.

So, how do the changes affect you? We’ve looked at some top used choices to see how you can avoid a tax bill shock.

The rates

How your road tax is calculated now

Band CO2 Petrol and diesel Alternative fuel cars
A Up to 100g/km £0 Not applicable
B 101-120g/km £35 £15
C 121-150g/km £120 £100
D 151-165g/km £145 £125
E 166-185g/km £170 £150
F Over 185g/km £210 £195
G Over 225g/km* £400 £385

*For cars registered on or after 23/03/06

How the new system will affect road tax bills

Band CO2 2009-2010 2010-2011 2010-2011*
A Up to 100g/km £0 £0 £0
B 101-110g/km £20 £20 £0
C 111-120g/km £30 £35 £0
D 121-130g/km £90 £95 £0
E 131-140g/km £110 £115 £115
F 141-150g/km £120 £125 £125
G 151-160g/km £150 £155 £155
H 161-170g/km £175 £180 £250
I 171-180g/km £205 £210 £300
J 181-200g/km £260 £270 £425
K 201-225g/km £300 £310 £550
L 226-255g/km £415 £430 £750
M Over 256g/km £440 £455 £950

*Cost of road tax for new cars in 2010-2011, for first year on road only