Get up to Speed with DVLA’s Expensive New Car Tax Rules

Buying a new car this year? Register it before Wednesday 1st April 2017 or face more expensive road tax for years to come, thanks to the DVLA’s rule changes…

Unless you already own a car, you’ll be stung by increased road tax when you register your new vehicle after Wednesday 1st April 2017 – when changes, announced by former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in summer 2015, finally come into effect. Here’s everything you need to know.

Why are the DVLA increasing road tax?

Every driver knows that when your vehicle is taxed for the first time, the amount of Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) is based on CO2 emissions.

Well, engines are now so green that 75% of cars aren’t paying road tax under the current system, because they’re emitting so little CO2 the government is missing out on a fortune – at least, until the rules change in April 2017. From then on, only zero-emission hydrogen and electric models will be tax-free.

What have the DVLA changed?

For the first time, plug-in hybrid vehicles that use a combustion engine will have to pay road tax, under these new rules.

Plus, the highest possible charge will rise from £1,100 to £2,000 for vehicles emitting over 255g/km CO2.

How much tax will you pay in the 1st year?

Registered your vehicle after 1st April 2017? Here’s how much you can expect to pay the DVLA for the first year…

DVLA road tax

What about the years after?

This is where the changes really start to bite, because from April 2017 you’ll pay this new standard rate of annual tax – when before, it could have been as low as £20.

DVLA road tax

Buying a car worth more than £40,000?

Petrol or diesel, electric or hybrid, no matter the type of car, you’ll face the following annual fee on top of the charges above – if your vehicle is worth more than £40,000. So, when you’re buying it, go easy on the optional extras that could push your car beyond the £40k mark – the government will always use the published list price.

DVLA road tax

What do these changes mean in practice?

“I want to buy a petrol or diesel vehicle that emits 110g/km CO2…”

  • Register it before the end of March 2017 and you’ll pay no road tax in the first year and just £20 from year two
  • OR wait until 1st April 2017: pay £140 tax in year one, then £140 annually from year two. Within three years, you’ve spent £420 on tax – a whopping £380 more than if you bought the same car a month earlier

More bad news for drivers…

This hike in road tax is the latest in a string of bad news for British motorists. For example, the AA are warning that car insurance is rising five times faster than train fares with some drivers paying up to 20% increases in just one year. On average, comprehensive cover rose 11.7% to £633 by the end of 2016 – a four-year high.

Worse still, the BBC say that car clamping for unpaid tax is up 80% in two years – more than 9,000 clamping’s a month. The DVLA is sending a strong message to drivers that you have to pay – forgetting to renew your car tax, because you don’t have your disc on the windscreen is no excuse. So don’t be caught out.

Questions about anything you’ve read here? Phone DVLA today to speak directly with a customer service advisor who can answer them.

Remember, you can apply for a discount on your vehicle if you claim certain benefits you can also check the tax rates for all vehicles if you’re thinking about buying a new or used vehicle. Save time by picking up the phone and calling the DVLA direct.