In 2014 the Government scrapped the need to display a tax disc on the windscreens of our vehicles after nearly a century of us having to do so. Today, Vehicle Excise Duty records are stored digitally, and technology such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras use information stored on the national road-tax database.
Police patrols have access to all this information while on the move, so instances such as drivers lacking insurance cover and MOTs for their vehicles can be dealt with much more efficiently. All this sophisticated technology means that the need to display an actual physical tax disc has become obsolete.
Additional changes in new car tax rules during 2014 meant that while under previous legislation, a car could be sold along with its unexpired tax disc to a new owner. Under the newly-introduced regulation, the original owner has to claim for a refund of any tax left while their purchaser should tax the car themselves immediately before getting behind the wheel and driving away.
To many motorists at the time this seemed a somewhat retrograde step. However, the actual process of arranging car tax is a relatively straightforward process. Many opt to make an online purchase through the DVLA website, but it is still possible to visit a Post Office and arrange your car tax that way.
You also have the option of paying your road tax through monthly Direct Debit and the choice of annual and six-monthly payment for VED has continued. Remembering to tax your vehicle is still easy at V11 form renewal reminders are still sent out by the DVLA. On the back of these V11 forms you’ll find a Direct Debit form to fill in should you wish to tax your car at a Post office.
Now we must gear ourselves for the next part of this total overhaul of the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) system. From 1st April this year, purchasers of car first registered on or after this date must comply with new rules and tariffs.
New car First Year Rates of VED will vary according to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by a particular vehicle. A flat Standard Rate of £140 will apply in all subsequent years, except for zero emission cars, owners of which will pay nothing.
Cars with a list price in excess of £40,000 will incur a supplement of £310 on their Standard Rate (SR) for the first 5 years in which an SR is paid. There is good news for those keeping their current vehicles as all cars registered before 1st April 2017 will remain in the current VED system, which will not change.
Current Car Tax Bands Up Until April This Year
Under the current road tax system the amount you pay for your tax is governed by the amount of Carbon-Dioxide (CO2) produced by your vehicle. This is measured in grams per kilometre commonly shortened to g/km. The first level of payment applies to the purchaser of a new car during its first year of registration. Then there is a second rate of payment which is annual that must be paid every year while your vehicle remains on the road.
Under current rules, there is no need for owners of vehicles emitting less than 100g/km to pay either level of payment. Owners of cars producing up to 130k/gm of CO2 are excused from paying the first-year payment but must fork out for the annual fee. In April 2016 some car tax bands were slightly increased.
New Rates From April 2017 – Who Will Be Affected?
So what can we expect from April this year? Well, there is going to be a complete overhaul to the way the UK road-tax system operates. CO2 emissions will continue to be a factor with only zero-emission vehicles being exempt from annual road tax. This means that if you decide to purchase a new petrol or diesel-powered car after the 1st April, you will be have to pay full road tax.
An annual rate of £140 for all cars will be levied, with the first-year rate varying based on CO2 emissions. There will be an additional annual surcharge of £310 on all new cars costing more than £40,000. However, these new rates will only be levied on cars registered from April this year. Cars on the road before this date will continue to be taxed under the old system.
To find out more about the new road tax rates to be introduced from April 1st this year in detail, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vehicle-excise-duty/vehicle-excise-duty.