From April 2020, changes are being made to the vehicle excise duty (also known as road tax or car tax) system in the UK meaning that buying a car in April will be more expensive than buying in March.
VED has many names in the UK including car tax, road tax or road fund licence, but all of them are the same thing. The amount you pay for this is based on fuel type, engine size and CO2 emissions when the car was first registered.
Currently, all cars go through a test to see how much CO2 they emit and what mpg they'll get. That test is called the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
From 06 April, all new cars will go through a different test, called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). This test is more stringent and designed to better reflect real-world output, meaning that the CO2 ratings of cars will increase.
The government estimates that most cars will experience a 20% increase in official CO2 emissions ratings. As a result, most cars will be in a higher road tax band in April 2020 than in March.
The first-year of road tax is included in a car’s on-the-road (OTR) price and is based on its carbon dioxide emissions.
The first-year rate ranges from £0 for zero-emission cars such as Electric Cars and AFVs (alternatively fuelled vehicles) that emit 50g/km or less, to £2,135 for models that emit 255g/km or more.
In the years following petrol and diesel vehicles will pay £145, hybrids will be £135 and fully electric cars will pay £0. New cars priced above £40,000 will be subject to an extra £320 charge for 5 years from the second time the vehicle is taxed.
Below is a simple table to see which band your car falls in and how much you could be paying. Just a small change on the official CO2 figures for your car could have a significant effect on the rate you pay.
CO2 Emissions (g/km)
First-Year Rate for non-RDE2 Diesels
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
1 - 50
51 - 75
76 - 90
91 - 100
101 - 110
111 - 130
131 - 150
151 - 170
171 - 190
191 - 225
226 - 255
If you're thinking about buying a brand new car, your best option is to buy and register it before March 31 2020, otherwise you will end up paying more for it.
To get started, why not take a look at the new car offers from our range of franchises.