A quick guide to vehicle tax bands
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  • A quick guide to vehicle tax bands
  • 11 April 2023
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    A quick guide to vehicle tax bands

    When buying or owning a car, there are many expenses that you need to consider, including road tax. But what are the defining factors for each tax band?
There are several factors that are considered which determines which tax band your vehicle will fit into to. To name just a few this can include engine size, date of registration and amount of CO2 produced. Although this makes the tax banding system sound simple - it is anything but, so we've created this easy guide to understand which band your vehicle is and why. 

Vehicle tax, or road tax, is what you need to pay to use your car on UK roads. The money collected by DVLA every year via road tax can add up to a HUGE £5.6 Billion, but not all of this money goes towards road improvements.

The system was first introduced in 1937 and has been amended as technologies and our world changes. The latest changes were made in March 2020. Cars that were registered between 2001-2017 can be split into several different tax groupings, or 'bands'. The main factor to determine this is the amount of emissions your car produces, the lower the emissions, the lower your tax will be. 

Cars that were registered before 2001 are legally classed as 'private/light goods' vehicles, or private motor cars. This system is very straight forward, as it is split into two groupings which relate to engine size; not over 1549cc or over 1549cc.

Cars that are registered between 2001 and 2017 are a little more complicated as there are 17 bands that determine the tax band of a car, and all of them are defined by the amount of emissions your vehicle produces. If it produces less than 100g/km you will pay NO road tax, but you will still have to register your car to ensure it is taxed. The more emissions that are produced by your vehicle, the higher the price is that you will have to pay. 

If your car is registered from April 1st, 2017, then you have to abide by another set of tax bands. This system solely relies on the amount of emissions that are produced. If you are lucky enough to drive an electric vehicle, which produces ZERO emissions, you will not need to pay tax. The change came after many motoring companies were adapting their powertrains so that motorists didn't have to pay tax as their engine did not produce enough emissions. 

The change means that if your vehicle produces ANY emissions at all, you will pay tax. 

Tax is monitored by an electronic data basis, gone are the days where DVLA used to hand out tax discs to display on your windscreen. This means that police can easily check if your vehicle is ready for use on the road or not, via automated number plate recognition cameras. 

Tax is very easy to sort for your vehicle, and can now even be done online, including payment, on the official .gov website. 

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