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If you have recently purchased or are in the process of buying a new car, you will know that new rates of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) apply for purchases of cars first registered on or after 1 April 2017. Most of the rest of the population may be surprised how significant the changes are. The big changes are the charges that apply in the year of purchase of the car. As with the system that applied to cars registered before 1 April 2017, the charges are based on CO2 emissions but the new charges are typically much higher than under the old system. For example a car with CO2 emissions of 175 jumps from £220 to £800. But in year two, the new system swings in favour of such a car owner as the charges are not based on CO2 emissions. If the car runs on petrol or diesel there is a fixed charge of £140 and an additional rate of £310 if the car has a list price of more than £40,000.
In percentage terms the purchasers who are most affected are people who buy low emission cars. For a petrol or diesel with 120 CO2 emissions, you would have paid only £30 a year. For new cars the charge is £160 in year one and £140 in subsequent years. Note that a purchase of second hand car such as an ‘ex demo’ continues with the VED system in operation when the car was first registered. So such purchasers are tied into the old VED rates. You can get details of the new (and old) VED rates at www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax-rate-tables