Is my car tax about to skyrocket?

Reader is concerned that 2019 changes to car tax will substantially increase the amount he has to pay...

Car tax bands for 2016-2017

I am a pensioner, I live in the countryside and, like many, I depend on my car. I drive a 2013 Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI, which has done 41,000 miles and has many years of motoring left. However, I read your article on road tax going up and am concerned that my car will cost £320 more per year to run. How come my diesel – which I was encouraged to buy by the Government – is going up so much?

Skoda Octavia vs Skoda Superb

Has anyone in the Government considered the cost in terms of energy and pollution involved in manufacturing a new car and scrapping my unblemished car?

Surely there should be some conversations about making existing diesel greener rather than simply using the motorist as a cash cow.

Iain Helstrip  

What Car? says…

The latest road tax increases are more punitive to diesel cars, but the biggest changes only apply to cars registered after 1 April this year. For older cars like yours, the increases are generally only around £5 a year. 

The cost of VED for cars like yours, first registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 March 2017, is based on their CO2 emissions. Your car has CO2 emissions of 154g/km, and the annual rate of VED has risen from £195 to £200. It’s likely to rise by a similarly small amount each year.

Read our guide to car tax rates

Best executive cars and the ones to avoid

A good executive saloon needs to combine two opposing qualities: luxury and affordability. The best have efficient engines that make them cheap to run as company cars. Yet, they also have plush interiors and enough soundproofing to keep them quiet on the motorway.

Ideally, they should also offer a comfortable ride and be enjoyable to drive. Plus, they should have a user-friendly dashboard layout and come equipped with the latest infotainment and safety technology.

Here we count down our top 10 – and names the cars that are best to steer clear of.

The best executive cars:

10. Mercedes C-Class

Mercedes C-Class saloon front three-quarter driving

The C-Class is one of the three main choices when it comes to executive cars, the other two being the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series – both of which feature further up this list. The C-Class does a lot well, too: it's got a superb interior, most engines have low CO2 emissions and you get plenty of toys as standard. The entry-level C 220d diesel makes the most financial sense, though, and pulls strongly from low revs.

Our pick: C 220d SE

Read our full Mercedes C-Class review

Find a great deal on a Mercedes C-Class

9. Jaguar XE

Jaguar XE 2019 rear exterior static

Taking on the big German brands in the executive car market is a big task, but Jaguar has made a good first impression with its junior saloon, the XE. It's offered with a strong range of engines, and rewards keen drivers with excellent steering and sharp handling. It's let down a little when it comes to cabin quality, but a generous equipment list should entice company car drivers.

4: Ford Mondeo 1.5 TDCi

Mondeo Man has grown up and now expects more from his car than ever before. Fortunately, the Mondeo has grown up too, now offering a comfortable driving experience and spacious interior to match its Germanic rivals. We'd go for the mid-range 2.0-litre diesel engine and pair it with Zetec trim, which gets you everything you're going to want, including a heated windscreen, rear electric windows and a ski hatch in the rear for carrying longer items.

Our pick: 2.0 TDCi 150 Zetec

Read our full Ford Mondeo review

Find a great deal on a Ford Mondeo

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