Car Tax Brackets

For any car that is to be driven or parked on the road in the UK, a valid tax disc is a legal requirement. If, for whatever reason, the vehicle is not being driven or kept on the road, then a SORN is required (Statuary Off Road Notification). The cost of road tax you will be required to pay, will vary greatly depending on the type of car you drive. The car tax brackets are determined mainly by the amount of CO2 emissions expelled, depending on the make and model of a particular car.

See below.


The amount of car tax or VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) payable depends on 2 things;

  1. The date the car was registered
  2. The engine size of the car and its CO2 emissions.


For cars that were registered either on the 1st March 2001 or after, then there is a specific car tax band for each category. Any car with CO2 emissions (g/km) up to 100, are classified as band A and owners of such vehicles are exempt from paying VED. For any car registered before 1st March 2001, then VED is based on the engine size alone. For example; a car owner with an engine size of 1549cc or below, will expect to pay £135 in the 2012/2013. Anyone with a car engine over 1549cc (if registered before March 1st 2001), will be required to pay £220 in 2012/2013. The highest bracket at this moment in time (post 2001) is band M, and is for cars over 225 CO2 emissions (g/km).


Car emissions are categorised and measured during the period of time when the car is being tested and awaiting “type” approval. This is before the car is approved for retail sales, and it is this official measure that will determine the tax bracket that the vehicle will fit into. To find out which category a vehicle is placed under, you will need to either look at the V5C, or ask the dealer involved with the brand of car you are interested in. Bear in mind that CO2 emissions will change each year depending on any modifications and extras that the manufacturers decide to incorporate into their latest model.


Taxing your car is relatively easy, especially with advances in technology. Tax renewal and purchase can now be acquired online, via the DVLA or at your local Post Office. You will require the V11 licence renewal reminder, or if you do not have this, you will need to complete a V5C form or alternatively the V5/2 part of your vehicle registration document (you will also be expected to fill in a V10 vehicle licence application).


If you have recently purchased the car, and do not have in your possession the V5/2 or the V5C, then you will be unable to acquire your car tax from the Post Office.

You will need to apply to the DVLA and will be required to produce the following:

  1. An up to date MOT certificate
  2. The correct fee
  3. A cover note or valid certificate of insurance


It is always wise to consider car tax brackets when choosing the make and type of car you wish to purchase – also the vehicles fuel consumption and type of insurance cover. Working out how much the car will cost you over a 12month period may determine exactly which make and model of car is most suitable to your current needs and requirements.

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