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01 Apr 2021
Jamie Gibbs Jamie Gibbs

UK car and van tax bands explained


A set of car keys and a calculator resting on a bank statement

Want to see if your car tax has gone up this year? Look no further!

If you drive a van, you can check your tax bands here.

Vehicle excise duty (VED) - also known as car tax - is a tax most drivers have to pay depending on their car's emissions.

In the budget announcement this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer froze fuel duty - this is the tax you pay per-litre of petrol - but raised VED tax again. Charging more for high-emission vehicles.

In short, The lower your emissions, the less tax you have to pay. So if you buy a gas-guzzler you can expect to pay through the nose for it. An electric car will be cheaper.

The rules around how much you pay depend on how old your car is. It's nothing short of confusing, so here's what you need to know.


VED tax changes for 2021

When you first register a car, there's an initial VED cost. The amount you pay depends on the car's carbon dioxide emissions.

This is for all petrol, diesel and hybrid cars. Pure electric cars pay no tax, since they give off no emissions.

Diesel cars pay more than petrol cars as they give off more emissions. 'Clean' diesels - those that meet RDE2 standards - pay the same as petrol cars.

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When was your car registered? Use the links below to jump to a section:


VED tax cost for cars registered after April 2017

This system only applies to cars bought as brand new and registered after April 2017:

First year car tax bands for cars registered after April 2017
CO2 emissions (g/km) Petrol and 'clean' diesel Other diesel Alternative fuel
0 £0 £0  £0
1-50 £10 £25 £0 
51-75 £25 £115 £15 
76-90 £115 £140 £105
91-100 £140 £160 £130
101-110 £160 £180 £150
111-130 £180 £220 £170
131-150 £220 £555 £210
151-170 £555 £895 £545
171-190 £895 £1,345 £885
191-225 £1,345 £1,910 £1,335
226-255 £1,910 £2,245 £1,900
Over 255 £2,245 £2,245 £2,235

For cars priced over £40,000,there's an extra £320 to pay. That's added each year for five years.

After that first year, all petrol and diesel cars registered after April 2017 have to pay a flat fee of £155 a year. For alternative fuels other than pure electric, it's £145.


VED tax cost for cars registered before April 2017

For cars registered before April 2017, the car tax scale splits into 13 bands (A to M).

How much you pay depends on what band your car falls into.

You can expect to pay anything from £0 to more than £1,000 depending on their car’s eco credentials.

The chart below gives more detail about each of the 13 VED bands for cars bought new pre-April 2017.

Car tax bands
Band CO2 emissions (g/km) Petrol and diesel Alternative fuel 
A Up to 100 £0 £0 
B 101-110 £20  £10
C 111-120 £30 £20 
D 121-130 £130  £120
E 131-140 £155  £145
F 141-150 £170  £160
G 151-165 £210 £200
H 166-175 £250  £240
I 176-185 £275  £265
J 186-200 £315  £305
K* 201-225 £340  £330
L 226-255 £585  £575
M Over 255 £600  £590

* This includes cars with a CO2 figure over 225g/km but were registered before 23 March 2006


VED tax cost for cars or vans registered before March 2001

If your car was registered before March 2001, you’ll pay car tax based on engine size.

Tax for older cars
Engine Size 12 Months Cost (Single 12 month payment)
Less than 1549 cc £170
Over 1549 cc £280


What tax band is my car?

Not sure which band your car falls into? Don’t worry.

To find out the emissions of your car, new or used, visit the GOV.UK website.


How do I pay car tax?

There are a few ways to pay your car tax.

You can pay VED online, by phone, at a Post Office, or by post.

Online is your quickest and easiest option. You’ll need your V11 reminder reference number or registration certificate (V5C).

To pay your car tax online, visit GOV.UK.

You can also pay:

  • by phoning 0300 123 4321

  • in person at Post Office branches that deal with vehicle tax

  • by post to the address shown on the V11 (you should get this a few weeks before renewal).

The costs can vary within the same band depending on how you choose to pay your tax.

For example, it’s cheaper to make an annual payment than in monthly installments.


Tax bands for van drivers

The rules on tax are a little different for van drivers. Rather than being dependent on their CO2 emissions, van tax is a set fee depending on how old the van is.

Vans under 3,500kg maximum weight
Type of van Registration period Standard cost (12 months)
Light goods vehicle After March 2001 £275
Euro 4 1 March 2003 - 31 December 2006 £140
Euro 5 1 January 2009 - 31 December 2010 £140

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