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Road Tax or Vehicle Excise Duty A Driver's Guide

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Road Tax or Vehicle Excise Duty A Driver's Guide

Road Tax or Vehicle Excise Duty A Driver's Guide

Road Tax or Vehicle Excise Duty A Guide For Drivers

This guide has been prepared by Intensive Driving Courses, and is intended to provide general information to help drivers to understand Road Tax or Vehicle Excise Duty and to stay legal; whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date, it is not intended to be a legal guide.

Road Tax or Vehicle Excise Duty is a tax that is payable on every vehicle that is used on public roads, this will include vehicles that are parked on a public road even if they are not being used.

If you are not going to use your vehicle, provided it is kept on private property, and you have completed a Statutory Off Road Notification, SORN, you do not have to pay road tax.

Car Tax can be paid either monthly, 6 monthly or yearly, and can be paid online through the GOV.UK website, or it can be paid at some post offices.

The amount of Car Tax payable is set by Government and often changes at the time of the Budget.

The method of calculating how much Car Tax is payable has periodically changed and so it depends on the age of the car.

Cars Registered Before 1st March 2001

The yearly tax is based on engine size

Rates are correct on 1st April 2021, but subject to change, current rate will be available on the GOV.UK website.

Cars Registered Between 1st March 2001 and 31st March 2017

The yearly tax is based on the official figures for how much Carbon Dioxide, CO2 the vehicle emits.

VED BandCO2 EmisionsAnnual Rate
A Up to 100g/km £0
B 101 - 110g/km £20
C 111 - 120g/km £30
D 121 - 130g/km £125
E 131 - 140g/km £150
F 141 - 150g/km £165
G 151 - 165g/km £205
H 166 - 175g/km £240
I 176 - 185g/km £265
J 186 - 200g/km £305
K 201 - 225g/km £330
L 226 - 255g/km £565
M Over 255g/km £580

Rates are correct on 1st April 2021, but subject to change, current rate will be available on the GOV.UK website.

Cars Registered On Or After 1st April 2017

The yearly tax is based on the official figures for how much Carbon Dioxide, CO2 the vehicle emits.

Only cars with zero CO2 emissions will pay a zero rate of tax.

Cars with a list price of £40 000 or more will pay an additional £325 per year above the standard rate for 5 years

First tax payment when you register the vehicle

You have to pay a higher rate for diesel cars that do not meet the Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standard for nitrogen oxide emissions.

CO2 emissions (g/km) Diesel cars (TC49)
that meet the RDE2 standard
and petrol cars (TC48)
All other diesel cars (TC49) Alternative fuel cars (TC59)
0 £0 £0 £0
1 - 50 £10 £25 £0
51 - 75 £25 £110 £15
76 - 90 £110 £135 £100
91 - 100 £135 £155 £125
101 - 110 £155 £175 £145
111 - 130 £175 £215 £165
131 - 150 £215 £540 £205
151 - 170 £540 £870 £530
171 - 190 £870 £1,305 £860
191 - 225 £1,305 £1,850 £1,295
226 - 255 £1,850 £2,175 £1,840
Over 255 £2,175 £2,175 £2,165

Rates for second tax payment onwards

Rates are correct on 1st April 2021, but subject to change, current rate will be available on the GOV.UK website.

What Happens To Road Tax When Buying Or Selling A Car?

Road Tax is NOT Transferable when a vehicle is sold.

The seller needs to notify DVLA that they have sold the vehicle and they will be refunded for any full months of road tax that are due.

The buyer needs to notify DVLA that they have purchased the vehicle and pay the Road Tax before using the vehicle.

How Is Road Tax Monitored And Enforced?

Cars used to have to display a paper tax disc in the corner of the windscreen to prove that road tax had been paid, tax discs were last issued in 2014.

Road Tax is monitored by use of a computer database, any vehicle without road tax or a current SORN will result in a fine being automatically sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle.

Any vehicles using the roads without valid Road Tax are likely to be detected by cameras with automatic number plate recognition both in fixed locations and in police and DVLA vehicles, and again a fine will automatically be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle.


This guide has been prepared by Intensive Driving Courses, and is intended to provide general information to help drivers to understand Road Tax or Vehicle Excise Duty and to stay legal; whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date, it is not intended to be a legal guide.

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