Car Tax 2021: How Much is Road Tax?

08th Mar 2021

What is road tax?

Every year, the vehicle excise duty (VED), commonly known as road tax, increases with inflation. As you may know, the amount of road 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 mpg and emissions.

Those test results are being used again for 2021. Explore the amount of tax you'll pay on new cars below, and look further down the page to see the rates for used vehicles.


 CO2 Emissions (g/km) First Year Rate  Standard Rate (second year)
 Zero  £0  £0
 1 to 50  £10  £155
 51 to 75  £25  £155
 76 to 90  £115  £155
 91 to 100  £140  £155
 101 to 110  £160  £155
 111 to 130  £180  £155
 131 to 150  £220  £155
 151 to 170  £555  £155
 171 to 190  £895  £155
 191 to 225  £1,345  £155
 226 to 255  £1,910  £155
 Over 255  £2,245  £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. From April 2021, you'll have to pay £335 annually for the next five years. This additional rate will start after the first year of tax runs out.

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 Road Tax Cost
A  Up to 100  £0
B  101 to 110  £20
C  111 to 120  £30
D  121 to 130  £130
E  131 to 140  £155
F  141 to 150  £170
 151 to 165  £210
 166 to 175  £250
 176 to 185  £275
 186 to 200  £315
K*   201 to 225  £340
L 226 to 255
M  Over 255  £600

*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 too 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. Plus, you can enjoy savings over a new car.

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.