2017 Renault Zoe
Only fully electric cars such as the Renault Zoe, or those powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system qualify for exemption from paying Vehicle Excise Duty

Pedants will point out that there is in fact no such thing as road tax, and they are quite correct. In the UK we don’t pay tax on our roads, but on our vehicles, hence it is known as Vehicle Excise Duty, or VED.

For all new cars the first year VED rate is linked to CO2 emissions, so the less polluting a car is the less you’ll pay in tax. Zero emissions pure electric or hydrogen fuel cell cars are exempt from paying VED, while for the most polluting cars owners are required to pay up to £2000 in first year.

Once this first year rate has been paid the rate of VED switches to a flat fee of £140 per year for petrol or diesel cars, or £130 per year for alternative fuel vehicles such as hybrids.

2017 Porsche 911
Cars costing more than £40,000 attract additional VED

Cars Costing More Than £40,000

In addition, all cars costing more than £40,000 (including pure electric such as the Tesla range) attract a premium vehicle tax. This is for the list price and includes any optional extras. It means owners of such cars must pay £310 per year on top of the regular VED rate. This is payable between years two and six of the car’s life, so adds up to an extra £1550 in total. After year six the car reverts to the standard rate of VED.

How Much You’ll Pay

If you’re unsure about how much you will pay in road tax on your next new car we can help. Just use our Ask a Question form to send us the make, model, engine size and whether the car uses a manual or automatic gearbox and we’ll be happy to answer. Alternatively, the table below outlines VED costs for cars from brand new, as well as in subsequent years.

CO2 EmissionsPetrol Car First Year CostDiesel Car First Year CostAlternative Fuel Car First Year CostPetrol and Diesel Cars After First YearAlternative Fuel Cars After First Year
1-50g/km£10£25£0£140£130
51-75g/km£25£105£15£140£130
76-90g/km£105£125£95£140£130
91-100g/km£125£145£115£140£130
101-110g/km£145£165£135£140£130
111-130g/km£165£205£155£140£130
131-150g/km£205£515£195£140£130
151-170g/km£515£830£505£140£130
171-190g/km£830£1240£820£140£130
191-225g/km£1240£1760£1230£140£130
226-255g/km£1760£2070£1750£140£130
Over 255g/km£2070£2070£2060£140£130

How To Buy VED

While it is possible to still buy your road tax in person at a Post Office, most instead do it online via the government’s vehicle tax website. You can spread the cost by paying monthly or every six months, but you’ll be charged an extra 5% for the privilege, so if you can pay for the full year upfront it makes sense to do so.


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Click on the images below to see questions and answers relating to different types of car:

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