Road Tax in 2020 - What Has Changed?
Road/car tax tends to go up every year, and 2020 is no different. The amount of road tax you will pay this year will depend on the type of car or van you drive and how old it is.
Since 2001, the Vehicle Excise Duty system and what drivers pay has been determined by the level of emissions a vehicle emits. The more pollutants a car produces into the atmosphere, the higher the rate of road tax will be payable. This is why diesel vehicles are more expensive to tax than hybrid ones. The system is designed to encourage motorists to choose cleaner models to lower the overall level of harmful emissions our vehicles create. Purely electric vehicles are free to tax since they produce no emissions.
This year, the biggest change to road tax is that the method for measuring levels of car emissions has changed from the New European Driving Cycle tests (NEDC) to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The WLTP system generates more accurate emission level results than the old NEDC tests, as well as more realistic fuel consumption and driving range readings. It's a change that's been in the pipeline for a while - vehicle testing has been transitioning from NEDC to WLTP since 2017 - but 2020 is the first year that road tax has been based on WLTP testing rather than NEDC testing.
If your car was registered after April 2017
After your initial tax payment, there is a flat rate for road tax for the second payment onwards, depending on what kind of car you have:
Petrol and diesel cars - £155 a year & Alternative fuels - £145 a year
If your car had a list price of £40,000 or more, there's an added annual tax of £335 to pay each year for five years, from the the second payment.
Here we outline the tax payments for cars registered after April 2017
If your car was registered after March 2001 and before April 2017
For cars registered between these dates, the amount of road tax payable will depend on the fuel type and the level of CO2 emissions produced. You can find your car's emission details on your V5C registration certificate, or you can check your car's emission details online.
As in previous years, there is no road tax to pay on any type of car that emits up to 100g/km - it's free! Don't forget though, it's still necessary to actually apply for tax for these low emission vehicles even when there's nothing to pay, otherwise you can be fined up to £1,000.
Petrol and diesel cars that produce up to 120g/km of CO2 emissions can be taxed for £30 a year or less, while alternative fuel cars that produce up to the same amount can be taxed for £20 a year or less.
You can see a full breakdown of the current road tax bands for cars registered between these dates on the gov.uk website.
If your car was registered before March 2001
For older cars, road tax comes down to the size of the engine:
Engines less than 1550 cc - £160 a year & Engines 1550 cc and over - £265 a year