Why Is Car Road Tax Higher for Certain Cars

January 27, 2012

Before the government levies car road tax on a vehicle, it will have conducted certain tests on rolling roads in laboratories and under conditions that are highly controlled. One of the things that the government tests is exhaust gas emissions which are first measured and then used for calculating fuel consumption on the basis of these inputs rather than on the real amount of fuel consumed by a vehicle.

The government is also laying more emphasis on going green with your vehicle and so it has changed its road tax bands to promote such kind of car ownership. There are thirteen separate car road tax bands and the yearly cost ranges from zero to about nine hundred dollars. After March 1, 2001, vehicles that are registered will be graded according to thirteen different road tax, and the tax paid will depend on what kind of CO2 emissions a vehicle throws out.

Inefficient Cars

A person that owns and drives what is considered an inefficient car or whose vehicle is very old will have to pay more road tax.

Conformity Certificate

According to new regulations that are intended to encourage reduction in CO2 emissions on light duty vehicles, cars that can show a conformity certificate will not have to pay high road taxes. However, if a vehicle does not have such a certificate that shows what kind of CO2 emissions the car is spewing out, then the road tax for that vehicle will be higher.

Auto Engine Size

Cars that have been registered prior to March 1, 2001 and whose engine size is not more than 1.549 liters in displacement will not have to pay as high road tax. But, the same is not the case with cars that have an engine size in excess of 1.549 liters whose owners will have to pay a higher road tax.

CO2 Emissions

A vehicle with CO2 emissions of over 121 g/km will have to start paying road tax. Those vehicles that have CO2 emission figures of more than 255 g/km will have to pay the maximum amount of road tax.

Alternative Fuel Cars

Even if a vehicle is running on alternative fuel, but its CO2 emissions figures are 101 g/km or more, it will be taxed. In this case again, if the vehicle emits CO2 of 255 g/km or more, its owner will need to pay the highest road tax.

Abolition of Exemption

The exemption on higher road tax rates on cars that emit over 180 g/km and which were registered between the first of March, 2001 to the end of March, 2006 has meant that even smaller sized family cars such as Ford Focus and Renault Megane as well as Rover 75 will now no longer be exempted from paying road tax. This indeed is one more reason why some cars are being taxed higher than others.

Such measures, according to the government, are meant to encourage the production of cleaner vehicles and to also encourage drivers to drive cars that do not cause much pollution. So, the best way to avoid having to pay high road taxes is by driving or owning the smallest as well as most efficient vehicles. Any vehicle with CO2 emissions of less than 100 g/km will be exempt from road tax. 

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