Everything you need to know about the April 2019 ‘road tax’ changes

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Author: | Updated: 01 Apr 2019 13:02

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for cars and vans is set to increase for the third time in three years from 1 April 2019. Although this time, it’s just in line with inflation.

The increase in VED, or ‘road tax’ as many people still call it, will see many motorists paying £5 to £15 extra per year, while those looking at brand-new models may have to fork out an extra £65 in the first-year rates.

Here’s what you need to know…

Everything you need to know about the April 2019 ‘road tax’ changes

The revised VED rates were announced back in 2017, although in last year’s Autumn Statement it was confirmed that the hike would increase in line with inflation from 1 April 2019 for ALL cars – not just brand-new models.

What are the changes?

The tax hike is the third to hit motorists in as many years, and follow Philip Hammond’s announcement that ALL new diesel cars registered from 1 April 2018 would face a first-year tax increase if they didn’t meet the necessary standard in real-world emissions tests.

Essentially, new diesel cars that fail to meet newly introduced Real Driving Emissions Step 2 (RDE2) standards had their first-year VED rate pushed up a band.

These diesel changes followed on from an adjustment of thresholds for all vehicles in April 2017, which ensured that only zero-emissions cars were exempt, and made diesel and petrol cars more expensive.

Philip Hammond's budget caused a backlash from the automotive industry when he announced the plan.

But later last year, it was confirmed that inflation would also be taken into account and apply to ALL vehicles rather than brand-new diesel models. This means from April, most motorists will be paying £5 - £15 more in standard VED, while those looking for a brand-new car after 1 April 2019 could face up to £65 extra in first-year VED.

You can find out if you’ll be paying more and by how much in the tables below.

VED first-year rates for models registered after 1 April 2019

Emissions (g/km) CO2First–year rate petrol and RDE2* diesel cars 2018-2019 First–year rate petrol and RDE2 diesel cars 2019-2020IncreaseAlternatively fuelled vehicles 2018-2019Alternatively fuelled vehicles 2019-2020Increase
More than 255£2,070£2,135£65£2,060£2,125£65

*Cars that do not meet new RDE2 test cycle will be moved up a tax band. 

VED standard rates for models registered after April 2017

Fuel type*Standard rate 2018-2019*Standard rate 2019-2020Increase
Petrol and diesel£140£145£5
Alternative fuel (hybrid)£130£135£5

*Vehicles with a list price of more than £40,000 will pay an extra £310 per year for the first five years.

VED standard rates for cars registered from March 2001 to March 2017

VED bandEmissions (g/km) CO2Standard rate 2018 -2019Standard rate 2019-2020Increase
MMore than 255£555£570£15

What if you’re a lease customer?  

Because the leasing company will be the first-registered keeper of a lease vehicle, it should be responsible for the increased first-year rate. So you won’t have to worry too much about directly paying for the upcoming changes – but ultimately it will still cost you money as they are likely to pass that expense on within the contract.

Will the VED changes affect the leasing market?

A lease car’s VED is rolled into your monthly payment and is included in the agreement, usually for the duration of your contract. However, when VED increases due to inflation, it’s worth noting you may be responsible, so it’s always worth checking your contract.

Want your say when it comes to a review of WLTP and vehicle taxes? Time is ticking…

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