Car tax bands: 2021 VED bands explained

Our guide to the VED road tax bands for cars registered from 1 April 2017 onwards

Tax

For many drivers, Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) - commonly known as road tax or car tax - is an inescapable aspect of car ownership. Furthermore, it's one that brings with it the annual struggle of deciphering the latest band changes, as the Treasury tries to squeeze as much cash as possible from drivers.

On 1 April 2021, the latest set of changes to road tax for new cars came into force. This saw the existing VED band structure adjusted for inflation once again, with tax rates on the rise in almost all areas. Auto Express has looked at the numbers, and here you can check exactly how much you'll pay in road tax for your next new car.

How much road tax will I pay?

If you buy a new car, the car's price isn't just what the manufacturer expects you to pay for it, as there are additional costs included. There's VAT, which charged at 20 per cent, for starters, and there's a registration fee - for the number plates and getting the V5C from the DVLA – and any delivery charges that the dealer will also add. Plus, there's VED, which for the first year of a car's registration is calculated differently to the rest of its life. You can find out about how much you'll pay through a car's life here. But in this article, we're concentrating on the amount buyers will pay as part of a new car's 'on-the-road' costs.

For the first year, VED is calculated on the car's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Our table below shows how much you'll pay if you buy a new car today:

VED tax bands: 1 April 2017 onwards

VED car tax bands for cars first registered from 2017 onwards
Emissions (g/km of CO2)Petrol and diesel first-year rateAlternative-fuel vehicle first-year rateStandard petrol/diesel annual rateStandard alternative fuel annual rate
0£0£0£0£0
1-50£10£0£155£145
51-75£25£15  
76-90£115£105  
91-100£140£130  
101-110£160£150  
111-130£180£170  
131-150£220£210  
151-170£555£545  
171-190£895£885  
191-225£1,345£1,335  
226-255£1,910£1,900  
Over 255£2,245£2,235  
Cars above £40,000 pay £335 annual supplement for five years from the second year of registration.

So all new cars that emit more than 75g/km of CO2 have seen a bump up in their first-year road tax costs. The last major set of road tax changes in April 2017 saw a fixed rate of road tax applied to cars after their first year of registration, and these new VED rates are not retrospective so can't be applied to older cars.

Read more about the UK's VED road tax system here...

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