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How to make sense of road taxBack

Working out how much road tax you’ll need to fork out for your current car or your next one can prove puzzling, so it’s well worth taking some simple tips from the Trusted Dealers so that you are in the know for the next time you consider purchasing a new or used car.

The main thing to remember is that if you drive a car that produces low levels of carbon dioxide (or CO2 for short) you’ll pay very little in road tax, or maybe nothing at all. CO2 is measured in grams emitted per kilometre driven, so if you are considering purchasing a large, petrol engine off-roader or a high performance car which emits high levels of CO2, the chances are you’ll be paying a lot more.

When considering buying a new car, the level of its CO2 emissions will decide if your first year’s road tax is free, or at the other end of the scale, could cost you as much as £950! For the second year’s tax, you’ll then pay a different rate altogether.

Road tax is illustrated in bands and there is currently 13 bands lettered ‘A’ to ‘M’ which apply to cars which run on petrol or diesel engines. However, if you own a car which runs on liquefied petroleum gas or another alternative fuel, there’s a different scale. Hybrid cars (which use a combination of electric and petrol engines) will also pay a different scale of road tax.

Cars which were registered before March 2001 also use a different scale which is in two simple stages. Those with engines of 1549cc or smaller pay £125; anything bigger pays £205. Cars built before 1973 are exempt from road tax.

Vehicles which were registered before 23 March 2006 and emit over 225g/km of CO2 pay a reduced rate (see table below).

Anyone who requires road tax can choose between a disc lasting six months or one year but it’s worth noting that a year’s tax is month-for-month and therefore quite a bit cheaper.

If your car emits 99g/kms of CO2 or less, you won’t need to pay road tax but you must still apply for, and display, a disc.

Road tax rates 2012-13

Band A up to 100g/km CO2 £0
Band B 101-110g £20
Band C 111-120g/km £30
Band D 121-130g/km £100
Band E 131-140g/km £120
Band F 141-150g/km £135
Band G 151-165g/km £170
Band H 166-175g/km £195
Band I 176-185g/km £215
Band J 186-200g/km £250
Band K* 201-225g/km £270
Band L 226-255g/km £460
Band M Over 255g/km £475

First year VED rates (so-called showroom tax)

Band A up to 100g/km CO2 £0
Band B 101-110g £0
Band C 111-120g/km £0
Band D 121-130g/km £0
Band E 131-140g/km£120
Band F 141-150g/km £135
Band G 151-165g/km £170
Band H 166-175g/km £275
Band I 176-185g/km £325
Band J 186-200g/km £460
Band K* 201-225g/km £600
Band L 226-255g/km £815
Band M Over 255g/km £1030

Band K includes cars that have a CO2 figure of more than 225/g/km, but which were registered before March 23, 2006.

Posted by Leana Kell on 04/03/2013