June 29, 2017 at 7:40 AM
The new rates for vehicle excise duties are shaking up the tax reductions that apply to low-emission and diesel cars. Prior to the 1st of April this year, low-emission vehicles were subject to a tax exemption, however, under the new rulings, all cars will be divided amongst 13 different CO2 bands. Low-emission vehicles will now be chargeable, substantially reducing the benefits of choosing a low-emission hybrid as an option for a tax-exempt automobile. The shake-up will not apply to a vehicle that was registered prior to the changes taking place on the 1st of April this year.
The new system is designed to bring the government millions in untapped revenue from hybrid and low-emission cars, further underlining the baneful nature of vehicle excise duty payments. Since 1903, the motor car act deemed it necessary for owners and drivers to pay £1. Since then, the rules for vehicle excise duties have changed on a regular basis. Under the new guidelines, only cars with zero tail-pipe emissions will qualify for tax exemption, while new cars will be divided amongst 13 different CO2 bands, which determine how much a car owner will pay in the first year.
Zero-emission cars will be in the lowest tax bracket and will therefore be tax-free. From the second year onwards, zero-emission cars that cost less than £40,000 brand-new will also be exempt from tax. Under the new rules, there will be a flat rate of £140 per year payable for cars that run on diesel or petrol, for hybrid cars this is slightly cheaper at £130 per year for cars that cost less than £40,000 brand-new. Between the second and sixth years, all cars costing over £40,000 will require an additional premium fee of £310 be paid per year, regardless of emissions.