How can I save money on car tax?
Reader is buying a second-hand Mercedes E-Class and wants to ensure he's not caught out by the premium car tax surcharge introduced in April 2017...
What is the difference in cost between cars registered before and after that date? Also, how will I be able to tell exactly when a car I’m looking at was registered? I'm allergic to paying too much tax!
What Car? says…
The rules on the cost of road tax (VED) changed from 1 April 2017 when a flat rate of tax was introduced, along with a surcharge for more expensive cars.
From that date, all cars with a new list price of more than £40,000 (this includes most E-Class Estates except those in the most basic trim level) had to pay an extra £310 a year in car tax from years two to six. On top of the standard fee of £140, this equated to £450 a year.
These prices increased by £5 and £10 respectively from 1 April this year, when VED became linked to inflation via the Retail Price Index.
Cars first registered before 1 April 2017 pay a varying amount of VED depending on their CO2 emissions. The E220 Bluetec diesel model emits 109g/km of CO2 and qualifies for a VED rate of £20 a year. The more powerful E350 Bluetec emits 143g/km, so it costs £155 a year, and the E200 petrol costs £195.
It’s easy to check if a car was first registered before or after 1 April 2017; the information is on the second page of its V5 registration certificate.
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