Will I have to pay higher rate of VED for new car I couldn’t collect on time?

A reader asks what to do if he has to pay more road tax for the new car he hasn't been able to collect due to the coronavirus outbreak...

Nissan showroom

I was due to take delivery of a new vehicle in the first week of April. The car should have been registered before the end of March so that I didn’t have to pay the significantly higher VED car tax that was applicable for it from 1 April.  

However, the dealership closed on 23 March in line with government guidance on preventing the spread of coronavirus. I’ve not been able to contact the dealership and I cannot find any information on whether I will now have to pay the additional cost when it re-opens.

If I have to pay the higher rate of VED I will not be able to afford to buy the car because I’ve had to take a cut in my salary due to Covid-19. 

What’s the best way to resolve this situation? 

Fahid Vassi 

What Car? says…

The Covid-19 outbreak has plunged hundreds of new car buyers into uncertainty, so it’s only natural that you should be concerned about this issue. We’d advise, though, that you make speaking to your dealer your first priority; they’re sure to be aware of the situation, and will be keen not to lose your custom.

It is true that, if the car wasn’t registered before April 1, the new rate of VED will be payable on it, but as you have already signed up to a purchase contract, your dealer might be able to suggest a solution towards dealing with any unforeseen cost.

Although their showroom will be closed at present, they’re likely to have a small number of staff working from home responding to customer enquiries. 

We’ve also heard that many car showrooms are planning on reopening on 1 June, so you should be able to take delivery of the car soon.

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