How to avoid April car tax trap and save £££s buying a car

By Rob Gill Published


IF you’re looking to buy a new car this year, it might be wise to do it before April – or face being clobbered by new car tax rules.

Dozens of best-selling ranges – like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Astra and Nissan Qasqhai – have models emitting less than 100g/km CO2, making them exempt from road tax.

Anyone buying a car after April could be in for a massive shock

But all new cars registered from April 1 will start to attract tax charges. Unless they are zero emission and cost less than £40,000, like the all-electric Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf.

The key word here is from April 1.


Buy a 1-litre EcoBoost Fiesta, top, (99g/km CO2) by March 31 and your road tax will be nothing, nada, zip, zilch, until the day it is scrapped. The old rules apply.

But buy the same car on April 1 and it’ll cost you £140 in tax each year, apart from the first year, when tax will still be calculated on CO2 emissions. That’s £400 over the first three years.


It gets worse for cars costing £40,000 or more. Owners face an annual £450 “wealth tax” from the second year until the sixth year after registration, when it’ll cost £140 per year again.

So a Discovery Sport HSE Black bought today will cost £390 in tax over three years. But from April 1 that’ll be £1,100 in Hammond’s back pocket.

Even a zero-emission electric car costing £40,000-plus – like the Tesla, left – will cost £310 a year for five years from year two.

The changes are expected to earn the Treasury more than a billion pounds a year from 2020.

Austin Collins, from, said: “Anyone buying a car after April could be in for a massive shock.

“Even people buying a Toyota Prius hybrid. They’ll be paying tax at pretty much the same rate as someone who buys a big SUV.”

Related Articles
Search Reviews

To help you with your research we have over 400 road tests to search from...

Cars for sale
Price Min
    Price Max

      The selections you have made will return no vehicles. Please amend your criteria.

      More Options
      Fuel Type
      Preferred Bodystyle
      Follow us on Instagram