Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) changes, set to be introduced at the beginning of April, will mean that running a car will be more expensive for the majority of motorists.
With this in mind, we’ve selected two cars for each tax band and calculated how much you’ll pay in car tax before and after the changes. Spoiler alert: you’re probably going to be out of pocket unless you register a new car before 31 March 2017.
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0g/km: Renault Zoe
Three years (before/after): £0/£0
Five years (before/after): £0/£0
There’s good news if you’re thinking of buying an electric car in 2017: it will remain tax exempt. Which means you’re free to buy a Renault Zoe before or after the introduction of the new VED changes. However, the same rule doesn’t apply to all electric vehicles…
0g/km: Tesla Model S
Three years (before/after): £0/£620
Five years (before/after): £0/ £1,240
If a car’s list price is over £40,000 at first registration, it will be subject to a new £310 surcharge for five years after the end of the first licence. So while the Tesla Model S is tax exempt in the first year, you’ll be out of pocket to the tune of £620 after three years, or £1,240 after five years.
1-50g/km: Volkswagen Golf GTE (39g/km)
Three years (before/after): £0/£290
Five years (before/after): £0/£570
The new rules mean that, while a Volkswagen Golf GTE emits a full 39g/km more than a Tesla Model S, it’s actually cheaper to tax, at least in the short-term. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s no longer tax exempt. Indeed, you’ll pay £570 over five years.
51-75g/km: Toyota Prius (70g/km)
Three years (before/after): £0/£305
Five years (before/after): £0/£585
You’ll soon discover that low emissions cars are the worst affected by the changes. The penguin-loving Toyota Prius might be one the greenest cars you can buy, but it’s subject to a £25 ‘showroom tax’, along with a £140 standard rate from year two.
76-90g/km: Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e (78g/km)
Three years (before/after): £0/£1,000
Five years (before/after): £0/£1,900
The carrot of free car tax makes the Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e plug-in hybrid a tempting proposition, but all that is set to change. The combination of the ‘premium’ surcharge and £100 ‘showroom tax’ means that you’ll be £1,000 worse off in just three years.
91-100g/km: Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi (99g/km)
Three years (before/after): £0/£400
Five years (before/after): £0/£680
We’d say the same about the nation’s favourite crossover, which, when powered by the popular 1.5 dCi diesel engine, is £400 more expensive to run in the first three years.
101-110g/km: Vauxhall Viva (104g/km)
Three years (before/after): £40/£420
Five years (before/after): £80/£700
You buy a car like the Vauxhall Viva to save money. And, sure enough, with prices starting from £129 per month, it’s a frugal way of getting from A to B. All of which means the three-year tax increase might be a little hard to stomach. The tax man will be asking for an additional £380 over three years.
111-130g/km: Lexus RC 300h Premier (116g/km)
Three years (before/after): £60/£1,060
Five years (before/after): £120/£1,960
Buy a Lexus RC 300h Premier in March 2017 and you’ll pay a token £60 in car tax over three years. Buy the same car in April and you’ll need to find an additional £1,000. Ouch.
131-150g/km: Ford Fiesta ST (138g/km)
Three years (before/after): £390/£480
Five years (before/after): £520/£760
There’s a new Ford Fiesta waiting in the wings, which means you’ll need to be quick if you fancy a slice of Britain’s best hot hatch. But don’t worry if you can’t beat the 31 March deadline: the rate of increase is a modest £90 over three years.
151-170g/km: Subaru BRZ (164g/km)
Three years (before/after): £555/£780
Five years (before/after): £925/£1,060
The Subaru BRZ, along with its cousin, the Toyota GT86, is a car you buy with your heart and not your head. With the VED front loaded, it makes sense to buy a BRZ after the rate change, that’s if you intend to keep your weekend toy for seven years plus.
171-190g/km : Vauxhall Corsa VXR (174g/km)
Three years (before/after): £720/£1,080
Five years (before/after): £1,140/£1,360
Bad news for Corsa VXR buyers: the first-year rate skyrockets from £300 to £800, making it a more expensive in the showroom. Meanwhile, the standard rate drops from £210 to £140, making it more cost effective in the long term.
191-225g/km: BMW M3 (194g/km)
Three years (before/after): £1,040/£2,100
Five years (before/after): £1,580/£3,000
The rate of tax will almost double for BMW M3 owners, so you really ought to place an order before the end of March. Remember, the ‘premium’ tax kicks in at the end of the first year and expires at the end of the fifth payment, at which point it drops to £140.
226-255g/km: Nissan 370Z (248g/km)
Three years (before/after): £1,885/£1,980
Five years (before/after): £2,885/£2,260
Finally, some good news! If you register a Nissan 370Z after 1 April 2017 and intend to keep it for more than three years, you’ll be quids in. That’s because the annual rate drops from £500 to £140, although the £1,700 ‘showroom tax’ might hurt a little.
Over 255g/km: Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 (299g/km)
Three years (before/after): £2,150/£2,280
Five years (before/after): £3,180/£2,560
Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 buyers: wait! Order a car today and you’ll pay £3,180 over the course of five years. Wait until April and you’ll save a hefty £620. You can spend that on premium unleaded.