How is road tax calculated?

How Fuel Efficient and Eco Friendly Your Car Is Will Determine How Much Annual Tax You Will Have To Pay For Your Car.

Feb 24, 2014

Road tax is payable on the majority of vehicles that use the UK's roads. Back in the 1990s and before there used to be a flat rate for road tax but now the cost of your car tax is based on a range of factors including:

  • The age of your car
  • It's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
  • Whether you want to buy 6 or 12 months tax

Our guide looks at how the cost of road tax is calculated and what you'll pay in 2014.

Cars registered before 1 March 2001

If your car was first registered before 1 March 2001, there are only two bands of car tax. The amount of road tax you pay depends on the engine size of your car. If the engine size is under 1549cc, you'll pay £140 for 12 months tax and £77 for 6 months tax. If the engine size is over 1549cc, you'll pay £225 for 12 months tax and £123.75 for 6 months.

Cars registered after 1 March 2001

For cars registered after 1 March 2001, there are thirteen separate bands depending on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of your car (measured in g/km). Cars with up to 100 g/km CO2 emissions pay no road tax at all. The cost of road tax then becomes more expensive as the emission levels rise, from 101 g/km to over 255 g/km. You can find out the CO2 emissions of your car by checking the registration certificate (the V5C form) or enquiring on the DVLA's Electronic Vehicle Licensing website. The information below shows the costs of car tax depending on your band and whether you want 6 or 12 months tax.

Cars first registered after 1 April 2010

Brand new cars registered after 1 April 2010 with CO2 emissions of over 130 g/km attract a different rate of car tax in the first year. For example, the tax on a brand new car with CO2 emissions of 170 g/km would be £285 in the first year, compared to £200 if the car was several years old.

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