While all roadworthy vehicles in the UK are due for a road tax, older cars usually manufactured before 2017 and those with low co2 emissions are charged at a much-reduced rate as compared to newer models and cars with higher co2 emissions. Through this blog post, we will analyse which older cars have a £ 30-pound road tax to pay, how is road tax calculated and applied, how can car owners pay their road tax and what are the consequences of not making this payment. 

Which Older Cars Have £30 Road Tax?

Older cars that are taxed for a £30 Vehicle Excise Duty in the UK currently include the following top automobiles:

  • Audi A6
  • Audi Q3
  • Ford C-Max
  • Mazda 6 Tourer
  • Mini Convertible
  • Skoda Octavia 
  • Vauxhall Corsa 

Depending on their construction and the purpose for which vehicles are used, tax classes are classified as per the below list by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA):

  • Private/Light Goods
  • Petrol Car
  • Diesel Car
  • Alternative Fuel Car
  • Light Goods Vehicle
  • Euro 4 Light Goods Vehicle
  • Euro 5 Light Goods Vehicle
  • Heavy Goods Vehicle
  • Private/Heavy Goods Vehicle
  • Special Types
  • Haulage Vehicles
  • Buse
  • Motorcycle
  • Small Island Vehicles
  • Rescue Vehicle
  • Special Concessionary
  • Emergency Vehicle
  • Exempt Vehicle

How Are Vehicle Tax Rates Calculated?

Rates of vehicle tax in the UK are calculated on the basis of a few factors including the engine size and CO2 emissions of the car.

However, the UK road tax system is divided across two separate rates. The first-rate applies during the first year of a car on the road when its CO2 emissions are also accounted for while calculating the tax rate. It may range from £0 for zero-emission cars to £2,245 for cars that emit 255g/km or more.

From the second year onwards, the CO2 emissions will not account for road tax, rather the original cost of the car will be considered for calculations.

Cars that are valued at or above £40,000 will be taxed a further £335 annual supplement that runs for five years. After this time-lapse, they will be taxed at the current tax rate applicable during the tax term.

The current (2021-22) road tax is set at a flat rate of £155. This is an increase from £150 in the 2020/2021 financial year) to adjust for inflation. There’s a £10 annual discount for alternatively fuelled vehicles such as hybrids, mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Therefore, their owners pay £145 annually.

What Tax Class Is My Car?

Car tax due upon vehicles depends on (a) their engine type which determines the type of fuel the vehicle consumes and (b) the co2 emissions (these are calculated separately for the first year of registration and then for subsequent years).

Your first tax payment for the next 12 months after registering your vehicle can be classified as per the below table:

CO2 Emissions (g/km)Diesel Cars (TC49)Petrol Cars (TC48)(GBP)All Other Diesel Cars(GBP)Alternative Fuel Cars (TC59)(GBP)
0000
1-5010250
51-752511515
76-90115140105
91-100140160130
101-110160180150
111-130180220170
131-150220555210
151-170555895545
171-1908951,345885
191-2251,3451,9101,335
226-2551,9102.2451,900
Over 2552,2452.2452,235

From the second year onwards, your car tax payments will be classified as follows:

Fuel typeSingle 12 month paymentSingle 12 month payment by Direct DebitTotal of 12 monthly payments by Direct DebitSingle 6 month paymentSingle 6 month payment by Direct Debit
Petrol or Diesel£155£155£162.75£85.25£81.38
Electric£0N/AN/AN/AN/A
Alternative£145£145£152.25£79.75£76.13

Alternative fuel vehicles include hybrids, bioethanol and liquid petroleum gas.

If your vehicle has a list price above £40,000, you will have to pay an additional £335 annually for a period of years, starting from the second year of the vehicle’s registration. If your vehicle is a zero-emission one, you will not have to pay this amount.

How Soon Can Car Tax Be Paid Before The End Of The Month?

You can tax your car 2 months in advance before your current car tax expires; however, if your car tax expires at the end of the month, you can pay the amount by the 5th day of the month. These payments can either be through cheque, postal order, online or through direct debit.

If you are making an advance payment, you will need the following documents:

  • Your vehicle registration certificate or logbook
  • An application for advance payment along with reasons 
  • Complete V10 form for vehicle tax and V85 form in case of a heavy good vehicle
  • An MOT or goods vehicle testing (GVT) certificate (in case you need one) 
  • A cheque, postal order or banker’s draft with the full amount payable to DVLA Swansea

How Should I Tax My Car?

If you have purchased a brand new car and you are the first owner, dealers usually arrange for payment for your car tax. Most of the time your car tax is included along with the price of your car and any registration fee that is to be levied. 

In the case of a second-hand car, if the dealer does not arrange a logbook transfer to your name, you can do the same by contacting the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on their website. However, it is advisable to purchase a vehicle with an updated logbook to avoid the impression of fraud or the purchase of a stolen car; as well as to maintain regular payments of car tax.

Can I Tax My Car At The Post Office?

Yes, you can tax your car at the post office if (a) the post office deals with car tax and (b) you have the following documents with you:

  • a V5C vehicle certificate/logbook registered in your name, or
  • a V62 application for a registration certificate 
  • a new keeper slip if you’ve just bought the car 
  • an MOT test certificate

If it is the first time that you are making a Direct Debit payment, you will need the following:

  • your address 
  • your date of birth
  • your bank or building society account details

Can I Tax My Car Without A Logbook?

Yes, you may be able to pay your car tax without a V5 (your car logbook) if the vehicle is registered in your name. 

If you have received a V11 reminder notice from the DVLA which states the vehicle owner’s name and the amount of car tax due for the next tax term, you can use it as proof of identification. If it is a new vehicle you will need a V5C/2 Green slip that is issued to new car owners while the ownership of their vehicle is transferred from the previous owner. However, if the car is not registered in your name, neither can you pay car tax, nor drive it on public roads.

In the permanent absence of a V5, your car will be declared as SORN; Statuary Off-Road Notification until the new logbook arrives which can take up to a few weeks’ time. You must apply for a V5 immediately for a fee of £25, in case you have not done so. Not carrying your logbook can lead to a penalty being charged by the DVLA.

Will I Get Fined If I Forgot To Tax My Car?

Yes, you will be fined by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if you forgot to tax your car. 

If your car is not taxed and is found on the road by the authorities, you will be fined £80 for driving an untaxed vehicle. If you pay the fine within 28 days, the amount will be halved and you will only have to pay £40. However, if you do not pay the fine within the stipulated time, the amount can increase to £1,000 and you can be taken to court or your vehicle can be clamped so that it cannot be driven until the fine is paid.  

If you do not intend to run your car on public roads, you are not required to pay your car tax. Instead, you should apply for Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) through your local post office dealing with car tax.

Who Is Exempted From Paying Car Tax?

Anyone with a roadworthy vehicle in the UK is required to pay Road Tax (also referred to as car tax, vehicle tax or road fund license), as this is a mandatory, annual payment enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. However, the following vehicles are exempt from Road Tax:

  • Cars used by a disabled person
  • Disabled passenger vehicles
  • Electric vehicles
  • Historic vehicles
  • Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs
  • Mowing machines
  • Steam vehicles
  • Vehicles used for agriculture, horticulture and forestry

Conclusion:

While there may be many cars that are manufactured before 2017 which bring them to the low road tax rate category, this blogpost has named some of the leading automobiles that are on top of this list. Another reason for low road tax rates is reduced co2 emissions of the vehicle. However, it is best to (a) check with the tax class your car belongs to and (b) try to understand the classification assigned by the DVLA so that road tax payments are maintained on a timely basis.

FAQs: Which Older Cars Have £30 Road Tax?

How old does a car have to be to be tax-exempt?

According to the DVLA, a car needs to be at least 40 years old to be exempted from road tax payments.

What cars are exempt from tax?

Cars used by a disabled person, Electric vehicles, Historic vehicles, Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs, Mowing machines, Steam vehicles and vehicles used for agriculture, horticulture and forestry are all exempt from road tax.

Do you pay road tax on cars over 25 years old?

While the tax exemption rule that currently applies to 40-year-old cars earlier applied to cars that had been manufactured 25 years ago, it is not so anymore. A car must be 40 years old to be exempted from road tax.  

Are hybrid cars exempt from road tax?

No, hybrid cars are not exempt from road tax. However, due to reduced levels of co2 emissions, the rate of road tax applied to them is much lower than petrol and diesel cars.

Will I Get Fined If I Forgot To Tax My Car?

Yes, if your car is not taxed and is found on the road by the authorities, you will be fined £80 for driving an untaxed vehicle. If you pay the fine within 28 days, the amount will be halved and you will only have to pay £40. However, if you do not pay the fine within the stipulated time, the amount can increase to £1,000.  

References:

Cars with £30 road tax | BuyaCar

Car tax bands explained | MoneyHelper

Cars-with-low-road-tax/

Notes about tax classes

Change your vehicle’s tax class – GOV.UK

Car tax bands explained | MoneyHelper

Rates of vehicle tax

Vehicle tax rates – GOV.UK

Check if a vehicle is taxed – GOV.UK

How To Tax A Car: Car Tax Guide (2022 Update) | Motorway

What-happens-if-you-forget-to-tax-your-car

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John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.