What is road tax?
Every year, the vehicle excise duty (VED), commonly known as road tax, increases with inflation. The amount of tax you pay is based on how much CO2 your vehicle emits. Generally, the more CO2 your car emits, the more you pay.
In April 2020, the emissions testing standards were changed to a new system called WLTP, which stands for Worldwide Harmonised Vehicle Test Procedure. Simply put, this test is more stringent and designed to better reflect real-world fuel economy and emissions.
Those test results are used to determine how much tax you'll pay on your vehicle. Explore the amount of tax you'll pay on new cars below, and look further down the page to see the rates for older vehicles.
What's changed for 2022?
You'll still need to pay a rate based on a vehicle's CO2 emissions the first time it's registered; that hasn't changed.
However, rates for diesel cars are now determined based on the Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standard.
If your new diesel car meets the standard, you pay the lowest possible rate. If it doesn't, you'll have to pay more. The dealer, or manufacturer, you're buying from will be able to advise on this.
|CO2 Emissions (g/km)||
First Year Rate
(diesel cars that meet RDE2
standards and petrol cars)
First Year Rate
(diesel cars that don't
meet RDE2 standards)
|Alternative Fuel Cars*||Standard Rate (second year)**|
|1 to 50||£10||£25||£0||£165|
|51 to 75||£25||£120||£15||£165|
|76 to 90||£120||£150||£110||£165|
|91 to 100||£150||£170||£140||£165|
|101 to 110||£170||£190||£160||£165|
|111 to 130||£190||£230||£180||£165|
|131 to 150||£230||£585||£220||£165|
|151 to 170||£585||£945||£575||£165|
|171 to 190||£945||£1,420||£935||£165|
|191 to 225||£1,420||£2,015||£1,410||£165|
|226 to 255||£2,015||£2,365||£2,005||£165|
*Alternative fuel vehicles include hybrids, bioethanol, and liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
**This rate is for petrol and diesel cars. Alternative fuel cars will pay a rate of £155.
Road tax on electric cars
Because all-electric and hydrogen-powered cars produce zero emissions, they don't have to pay any road tax.
Additional rate changes
As has been the case with previous years, you'll have to pay higher rates of tax on vehicles that cost over £40,000 when new. You'll have to pay £355 annually for the next five years. This additional rate will start after the first year of tax expires.
Road tax on used cars
If your car was registered after 1st March 2001 and before 1st April 2017, then the rate you pay will be based on the amount of CO2 your vehicle produces. The rates are split into different bands, and the costs are as follows:
|VED Banding||CO2 Emissions (g/km)||Annual Vehicle Tax (petrol and diesel cars||Annual Vehicle Tax (alternative fuels)|
|A||Up to 100||£0||£0|
|B||101 to 110||£20||£10|
|C||111 to 120||£30||£20|
|D||121 to 130||£135||£125|
|E||131 to 140||£165||£155|
|F||141 to 150||£180||£170|
|G||151 to 165||£220||£210|
|H||166 to 175||£265||£255|
|I||176 to 185||£290||£280|
|J||186 to 200||£330||£320|
|K*||201 to 225||£360||£350|
|L||226 to 255
*This includes cars emitting over 225g/km registered before 23rd March 2006
What should I do about it?
If you're looking to buy a brand-new car, then you shouldn't be put off by the initial first year rate, as it's reasonably inexpensive on all but the bigger and most powerful cars currently available.
However, if that doesn't appeal, then you may want to consider looking for a pre-owned vehicle, where you won't have to worry about the first year rate. If you're willing to own an older car, then there's a wide selection of used vehicles that won't cost a penny in tax.
How much is my car tax and when is it due?
If you aren't sure how much your vehicle's road tax is, or when it's due, then you can check via the government's road tax checker.