Owning your own car can give you the freedom of the open road, but there are certain costs that you’ll have to pay. There’s insurance, car tax, fuel and breakdown cover to consider. Only car breakdown is optional, the others are a necessity.
What is car tax?
Car tax or road tax, as it’s also known, is officially ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ or VED for short. Changes were made in April 2017 and April 2018, so the amount you have to pay may have changed from what you’re used to, if you’ve bought a new car since then or are planning to buy one. It is a tax that is levied as an excise duty and must be paid if you own a car that’s parked or driven on public roads in the UK.
How much car tax will I pay?
If your car was registered before the 1st March 2001, the rate of car tax you’ll have to pay will depend on the size of your engine. If it was registered on or after the 1st March 2001 but before the 1st April 2017, the rate will depend on your car’s fuel type and CO2 emissions.
For cars that were registered on or after the 1st April 2017, the first-year rate is based on the CO2 emissions and then subsequent years are charged at a standard £140, if you have a petrol or diesel car. If you have an alternative fuel car then you’re charged £10 less for the first year than petrol or diesel cars and then £130 a year. There are additional charges for cars over a list price of £40,000.
If you have bought a new diesel car from April 2018, you’ll be charged a higher rate of car tax, if it doesn’t meet the RDE emission standards.
Can I tax my car without insurance?
Unless your car is off the road and declared SORN, it legally must be insured and you must have car tax. You can tax your car without having your insurance document to hand.
In order to tax your car, you will need a reference number. You’ll find this on the reminder letter sent by the DVLA (V11 letter), on a ‘last-chance’ warning letter sent by the DVLA, on your car’s log book (V5C) or on the green ‘new keeper’s details’ slip (V5C/2) you were given when you bought the car. You can pay online by Direct Debit or by using a debit or credit card.
If you’d prefer to pay at the Post Office, you will need your car’s log book or a reminder letter and you may be asked to present your MOT certificate, as well. If you’ve misplaced any of these important documents, it’s vital you order replacement copies as soon as possible.
If you don’t currently have valid car insurance, or your current policy is due to run out soon, you may want to shop around for quotes. Click here to get a quote for Rias insurance >