Highest road tax by car

Road tax. One of those necessary evils that all drivers must face every 12 months. For the vast majority of vehicle owners, that price will remain relatively static for the duration of their ownership, but for those who are lucky enough to own a ‘premium’ car, these prices can rise dramatically. Let Scrap Car Comparison guide you through which cars are likely to set you back the most when it comes to your annual tax renewal – and which ones will be the kindest to your bank account, too.

If your annual tax reminder fills you with dread, you may want to consider getting rid of your old polluter and getting something a little more tax-friendly. By scrapping your car with Scrap Car Comparison you’re guaranteeing yourself the very best price, no matter the condition, and we’ll even come and collect it from you, wherever you call home. Get started today and see just how much your car could be worth.

(all information below regarding price of vehicles and tax rates are correct as of 27th October 2022 as found on nextgreencar.com)

What are road tax bands?

Before we get started on what cars are the most expensive or the cheapest, it’s not a bad idea to explain just why certain cars cost more or less than others. Car tax – or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – is split into 13 ‘bands’, ranked A to M from cheapest to most expensive. Cars are designated a particular band based on their CO2 emissions from the exhaust pipe, with Class A being for cars producing 0g/km, increasing in price all the way up to Band M, which caters for cars producing 256+g/km. 

There is also a First Year Rate (FYR) applied to all cars registered after the 1st April 2017. This FYR is again defined by the car’s CO2 emissions record. Any diesel powered cars registered from 1st April 2018 onwards that do not meet the Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standards for air quality are also charged an FYR – the price varying car to car and effectively bumping your car up a tax band (such as from D to E, for example).

Is there a premium charge?

If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford a top-of-the-range model, then you could find yourself paying more each year when it comes to your tax renewal. Premium charges apply based on the price of your car when new – if it costs over £40,000 then you can expect to pay an additional £355 on top of your usual VED charges for the next five years. From year seven onwards, your tax will be the standard amount.

What are the most expensive cars to tax?

The most expensive cars to tax are those that fall into Band M of the VED categories and also fit into the premium charge zone. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Band M car that doesn’t incur the premium charge, however, as the only one falling below the £40,000 cut-off is the Nissan 370Z. However, you’ll still have to pay the Band M FYR, which is a whopping £2,365, or to put into perspective, almost 8% of the car’s on-the-road (OTR) £30,035 price tag. Your VED charge will then drop to the standard £165 every 12 months from year two onwards.

Going to the other end of the scale, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan sits at the top of the OTR price lists with its eye-watering £256,230 price tag. With over a quarter of a million being spent on the car alone, the £2,365 tax bill in the first year and £685 for the next five seems like pocket money. To use a similar comparison to the Nissan 370Z, your total tax bill for the first six years will only equate to just over 2% of the price you paid for the car itself.

Other cars that are going to set you back the maximum charge of £2,365 in year one and £685 for the next five include:

  • Ford Mustang
  • Jaguar F-Pace
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC
  • Lexus LC 500
  • Porsche Cayenne Coupe
  • Range Rover V8 Supercharged
  • Anything from Rolls-Royce

What are the cheapest cars to tax?

While there are a collection of cars out there that have four-figure tax bills, cars falling into Band A – cars which produce zero emissions – will cost you absolutely nothing to tax. Cars with alternative fuels also feature a £10 discount on the FYR and standard rate. 

The absolute cheapest car doesn’t really count as a car – technically it’s a ‘microcar’ – and will only set you back £10,995 to buy with absolutely nothing to pay in tax, although you will have to lease the battery at £45 per month. Unfortunately, it’s a Renault Twizy. The next cheapest, the Carver S+, also fits into the same category as the Twizy and has an OTR price of £12,000.

It’s only when you reach just south of £13,000 (£12,945 to be precise) that you can actually drive a car without having to pay any VED. The Citroen C1 Urban Ride 5-door is the cheapest Band A car that you can buy that will actually carry more than two people.

Other cars slotting into Band A, and therefore not incurring any VED charges include:

  • Dacia Duster
  • Skoda CITIGOe
  • Fiat 500
  • Seat Arona
  • SMART EQ fortwo coupe passion advanced

(specific trim levels)

If the above has inspired you to find something smaller, more eco-friendly and, more importantly, cheaper to tax, you’ll want to get rid of your current set of wheels as soon as possible. By scrapping or selling your car as salvage with Scrap Car Comparison you’re guaranteed a quick sale for your car, no matter its condition and no matter where you are. We work with buyers up and down the country and our friendly team of experts are always on hand to guide you to the very best price possible – so why not get started today?

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