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Cars with low road tax

20 Mar 2024

When looking to buy your next car, there are many things to take into account, and road tax is one of them. The affordability of a car isn’t just limited to the price of the vehicle; you need to consider running costs, insurance, and road tax.

How is road tax calculated?

Road tax is calculated based on various factors such as the type of vehicle, its emissions, and its engine size. Typically speaking, vehicles with lower emissions and smaller engine sizes tend to have lower road tax rates, although it also depends on other factors such as the age of the vehicle.

Cars registered before April 2017 may fit into one of the following tax bands: A (no tax), B (£20 per year) or C (£35 per year), providing they emit less than 120g/km of CO2. Cars that emit more than that can jump up to £150 per year or more.

Tips for finding a car with low road tax

  1. Emissions: look for cars with low CO2 emissions.
  2. Engine size: smaller engine sizes usually result in lower tax (though this isn’t always the case).
  3. Fuel efficiency: cars that are more fuel-efficient tend to have lower CO2 emissions.
  4. Hybrid or electric options: hybrid vehicles often have lower road tax rates, and electric vehicles have zero.
  5. Age of the vehicle: older cars typically have higher road tax rates compared to newer models that are designed to meet stricter emissions standards.

Top five cars with low road tax

Mercedes-Benz GLA

Looking for the comfort and luxury that comes standard with the three-pointed star? The Mercedes- Benz GLA, specifically the entry-level diesel models from 2014 – 2017, will set you back less than £35 in road tax depending on the trim levels.

They also come with excellent fuel economy on the 200 CDI engine or the later 200d registered before April 2017.

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta has long been a firm favourite in UK car sales, which ultimately means you can usually find them quite easily in the used car market. The hatchback’s appeal only increases when you consider the possibility of low car tax.

Some of the diesel models with the 1.5 TDCi or 1.6 TDCi engines sold new between 2008 and 2013 will cost you nothing in car tax, while the 1.4 TDCi diesel model will cost you just £20 per year.

The 1.0 EcoBoost models will also cost you nothing in road tax, and the 1.2-litre petrol models between 2012 and 2015 will set you back £35 annually.

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf sold from 2013 onwards is one of the best hatchbacks money can buy.

If you’re looking for a model with a tax bill of zero, the 1.6 TDI 105 and 110 diesel is for you. Another model that will cost you nothing is the 1.0 TSI petrol. Some of the models from 2016 – 2017 rise into the £20 category, and a range of 2.0 TDI diesels and 1.4 TSI petrols will keep you below the £35 mark.

Nissan Qashqai

A family SUV with low car tax and admirable fuel economy, the Nissan Qashqai will see you save on your road tax bill.

Depending on the trim level, Qashqai’s sold new between 2014 and 2017 with a 1.5 dCi or 1.6 dCi diesel engine will cost you between £0 and £35 in annual road tax.

Hyundai i10

A notoriously roomy hatchback, the Hyundai i10 has a number of affordable tax options. The 1.0 SE Blue Drive and 1.0 SE Blue from 2017 will cost you a grand total of nothing, with a number of 1.0-litre models from before 2017 costing just £20.

Several 1.2-litres across the SE and Premium range with a manual gearbox have an annual road tax bill of £35, and they look great, too.

Explored our range of Used Cars in Exeter to find the perfect model for your lifestyle.

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