How Much Is My Car Tax? A Comprehensive Car Tax Guide


If you own a car in the UK, you know that paying road tax, officially known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is a necessary obligation. However, with various changes to car tax rates and regulations over the years, it's natural to wonder how much you need to pay and how the tax is calculated. In this comprehensive car tax guide, we will explore the ins and outs of car tax in the UK and provide you with valuable information to help you understand the process better.

Understanding Car Tax in the UK

Car tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is a tax levied on all vehicles using public roads in the UK. The money collected from VED goes into the government's general fund and is not specifically allocated to road maintenance or improvement. The amount of car tax you pay depends on several factors, including the type of vehicle, its CO2 emissions, fuel type, and the date of its registration.

How Is UK Road Tax Calculated?

For cars registered after 1st March 2001, the VED is calculated based on the vehicle's CO2 emissions. This information is taken from the manufacturer's CO2 emissions figures and is then categorized into different bands. Vehicles emitting less CO2 pay lower tax rates, while those with higher emissions face higher tax rates.

Car Tax Bands

The following are the current VED bands and their corresponding rates for cars registered on or after 1 April 2017:

- 0g/km CO2 emissions: £0 for the first year and £0 for subsequent years
- 1 to 50g/km CO2 emissions: £10 for the first year and £30 for subsequent years
- 51 to 75g/km CO2 emissions: £30 for the first year and £130 for subsequent years
- 76 to 90g/km CO2 emissions: £130 for the first year and £165 for subsequent years
- 91 to 100g/km CO2 emissions: £165 for the first year and £140 for subsequent years

For cars emitting more than 100g/km CO2, the rates vary depending on the specific CO2 emissions of the vehicle.

Read more about car CO2 emissions in this blog to gain more insights about the subject.

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Car Tax Rates for 2023/2024

For the tax year 2023/2024, the annual flat rate of road tax is £180, up from £165 in the previous financial year. However, alternatively, fuelled vehicles (hybrids, mild hybrids, and plug-in hybrids) receive a £10 annual discount, reducing their tax to £170 per year.

Is Road Tax the Same as Vehicle Tax?

Yes, road tax and vehicle tax are interchangeable terms used to refer to Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). In the past, road tax was directly linked to road usage, but today, the revenue from VED goes into the general government fund and is not solely allocated to road maintenance.

What Is Road Fund Licence UK?

Road Fund Licence, also known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) or colloquially as road tax, is a taxation imposed by the government on all roadworthy motor vehicles. The cost of the road fund license is based on the emissions the car produces, with low-emission vehicles paying lower rates.

Which Cars Are Road Tax-Free in the UK?

Some cars are eligible for zero road tax because they fall into the zero-emission category. For example, fully electric vehicles (EVs) like the Fiat 500e, MG5, Volkswagen ID.3, Kia e-Niro, Vauxhall Mokka E, Peugeot e-208, Mini Electric, and Hyundai Ioniq Electric are among the best tax-free cars in the UK.

How Often Do You Pay Road Tax UK?

When it comes to renewing your road tax, you have several options. You can pay annually, every six months, or on a monthly basis through Direct Debit. The payment schedule depends on your preference and financial circumstances.

Car Tax for Imported Vehicles

If you import a vehicle into the UK, you must ensure that it complies with all UK road safety and emissions regulations. The VED for imported vehicles is calculated based on the CO2 emissions and other relevant factors, just like for domestically registered cars.

How to Check Your Car Tax

To find out how much car tax you need to pay for your vehicle, you can use online car tax checkers and calculators. Many websites, such as Parkers and Free Car Check, offer free car tax calculators where you can enter your vehicle registration number to get the annual tax cost.

Car Tax and the Environment

Car tax rates are structured to incentivize the purchase of low-emission vehicles, encouraging drivers to choose more environmentally friendly options. Cars with lower CO2 emissions usually benefit from reduced tax rates, making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly choice for consumers.


In conclusion, car tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is an essential part of owning a vehicle in the UK. The amount of tax you pay depends on various factors, including your vehicle's CO2 emissions, fuel type, and registration date. By choosing a vehicle with lower emissions or an alternative fuel option, you can reduce your car tax expenses while contributing to a greener environment.

Remember to check your car tax regularly using online car tax checkers to ensure you stay up-to-date with your payments and avoid any penalties. Stay informed about changes to car tax rates and regulations by referring to official government sources and reputable automotive websites.



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