The Top 10 Cars With Low Tax
Owning a car comes with many benefits, the freedom of being able to go wherever and whenever you choose is high up that list, but the running costs can certainly mount up. Car tax is one of those costs and while necessary (it's literally a legal requirement), you don't want to be paying more than you need. We've put together this explainer article around how tax is calculated and which cars have the lowest costs, tax-wise.
What is car tax?
Car tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), as it is officially known, is the tax you are charged to use a vehicle on public roads and it goes towards road improvements and infrastructure.
Which types of cars have the lowest tax charges?
For cars registered after 1 April 2017, electric cars are the cheapest to tax (more accurately, they are free to tax); with alternative fuel cars costing slightly less than traditional petrol or diesel cars (£145 and £155 respectively).
Electric Cars (£0 to Tax)
The e-Golf is very similar to its traditionally-fuelled counterparts, except for the emissions, the quieter ride and some small stylistic differences including redesigned LED headlights and a closed-off grille.
Like the Golf, the e-Golf is a comfortable ride for driver and passengers alike. It features two-zone climate control, comprehensive parking sensors, sat-nav and a 9.2inch touchscreen. In its handling, it is a little heavier than the Mk7 Golf, because of the batteries, but it is still an agile and high-performance car.
You can expect a range of 125 miles on a single charge from the e-Golf, although those models after the 2017 revamp can see up to 186 miles.
Available as a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and a pure electric vehicle (EV), the Ioniq delivers a strong performance that outstrips the Prius. The EV model jumps into action faster than the hybrids and is well suited to town driving, with steady handling and a quiet engine.
The inside is spacious and there is a definite feeling of quality in the cabin, with a reasonably-sized boot, despite the battery. Standard models come with automatic emergency braking, hill start assist and lane-keeping assistance, as well as a back camera to help with parking.
The Ioniq EV has an official driving range of 174 miles (post-2019 models have an improved range of 194 miles).
Every Renault Zoe comes with climate control and cruise control for comfortable driving, as well as navigation built into the multimedia touchscreen. The Dynamique Zen also comes with rear parking sensors, electric windows and an improved sound system, while the Dynamique Intens adds a rear parking camera.
The interior feels traditional in its simplicity, but with modern tech. The seats are comfortable even if the legroom isn't abundant, and the boot can hold either 338 litres or 1,225 litres, depending on the seats being upright or folded.
A single charge gives the Renault Zoe a range of 130 miles or, for models released after July 2015, 149 miles.
Low Tax Cars
The Vauxhall Corsa is a popular and established car, and for good reason: they are economical to run and fun to drive.
The interior is spacious and comes with a nice array of standard kit, including cruise control, heated windscreen, Bluetooth and remote locking. Air conditioning comes with the Design trim, alongside Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and the Energy trim adds heated seats in the front and automatic lights and wipers.
The Corsa's light steering and easy manoeuvrability make it a pleasant drive and it's a safe and comfortable ride for passengers.
The Qashqai is a stylish car that demands attention, from the bold lines outside to the luxurious feel inside. Ergonomically-placed controls make driving an intuitive experience and the comfortable cabin has plenty of legroom and headroom for 4 adults.
Remote locking, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and cruise control all come as standard, and the Acenta trim also comes with automatic lights and wipers, climate control and a clever boot storage solution.
This is a fantastic all-around car, scoring highly for performance, practicality, driving experience and comfort.
The A3 comes with the high performance and clean designs you'd expect from Audi, with leading technology wrapped up with a sleek bow.
There is a quality in the cabin unsurpassed in its class, with the construction both solid and soft. Four adults can fit comfortably although the Sportback trim comes with more space in the back.
The A3 is quick and responsive to your controls and comes with a range of suspension choices, depending on the trim, providing a luxurious and comfortable ride.
The 2008 is a classy and capable SUV with bold details and a touch of class. Air conditioning, cruise control and remote locking all come as standard, and the Allure trim adds climate control, a self-parking feature and automatic lights & wipers. The top of the range Feline trim features sat-nav, leather seats and a panoramic roof.
While the back seats are comfortable - and with ample headroom and legroom - the driver and front passenger will have a softer ride. The boot can accommodate 360 or 1,194 litres, depending on the seats being up or down (an adjustment that only takes a single action, thanks to the cantilevered bases).
This Peugeot is a reliable drive, particularly on bends and corners, although some may find the steering heavy for its size.
The Ford Focus is a great all-around car, providing a comfortable drive and an ergonomic interior.
Air conditioning, remote locking, electric windows and Bluetooth all come as standard while the Zetec brings sports seats, a heated windscreen and a touch-screen infotainment system. The interior has a simple and stripped-back design and the materials used have a nice feel to them.
The Focus is great fun to drive thanks to its grip, control and responsiveness, with very reactive steering. The back seats are comfortable for two adults, but three would be a squeeze.
The Sportage, like many SUVs, is a practical and comfortable car, with alloy wheels, front fog lamps and LED running lights as standard.
The interior is spacious and five adults can comfortably travel in the Sportage, and the driver's seat can be really customised to suit your preferences. The boot provides an impressive 491 litres of storage with the back seats up, and 1,480 litres with them down.
While out on the road, the Sportage delivers a comfortable ride with just a touch of firmness on the bigger dips and bumps, and it handles corners with nimbleness and a strong grip.
The Octavia is a reliable car with plenty of legroom and gives a fairly smooth ride. It comes with ample space inside as well as quality materials and a sleek exterior.
Seats are supportive and air-conditioning comes as standard, so you can be sure of a comfortable journey. The SE trim is more intelligent, with reversing sensors, dual-zone climate control front fog lights, while the SE L trim goes a step further to include rain-sensing wipers, cruise control and an upgraded infotainment system.
For cars registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 March 2017, the cars that pay the least tax are those with the lower official CO2 emissions. These are those cars in Bands A, B and C; Band D sees a sharp rise.
Single 12-month payment
|Up to 100g/km||£0|
|101 to 110g/km||£20|
|111 to 120g/km||£30|
|121 to 130g/km||£130|
Cars in Band A include:
Cars in Band B include:
Cars in Band C include:
There's a host of cars that come with low and zero tax commitments, so we're sure we can find one that works for you, whether you're family or sporty, practical or speedy, budget or high end. Here at Carbase, we put every used car through a thorough testing process, so you know you're getting a quality used car. Pop into one of our dealerships or get in touch today.
*if registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 March 2017