New car tax laws boost interest in used cars

Used Cars in Norwich, Norfolk


Car tax laws coming into effect next month will hit new vehicle buyers the hardest, so more people are considering buying used.

New regulations that could see new high-emission vehicles taxed up to a staggering £2,000 in the first year have led respondents to’s survey to see even more benefits to purchasing a used car.

The comparison website surveyed 2,000 UK drivers in February of this year. More than half of them (57%) said that they would consider buying a used car in order to avoid the changes. Used cars were a significantly more popular option than electric-only vehicles, with only 23% of drivers considering buying a new electric car.

The cost of keeping a vehicle is rising all the time and drivers are disillusioned with the government’s choice to hike taxes on new vehicles. Some 53% of respondents said that car tax was a consideration when purchasing a vehicle. A majority (55%) said that the tax changes were only made to make the government new money.

The new laws

• The new laws will only apply to new (2017 plate) cars registered from April 1st 2017
• The ‘first licence rate’ will continue to be based on the vehicle’s emissions. See the government website for a full list.
• After the first year, the vehicle owner will pay one of three standardised rates:

1. £140 per year for petrol and diesel vehicles
2. £130 for vehicles – such as hybrids – that are classified as ‘alternative’
3. £0 per year for zero emissions vehicles (including electric cars)

• If you buy a new car worth over £40,000 then you’ll be taxed an extra £310 per year for five years, after which it will drop back down to the new standard rate.

Shockingly,’s research also revealed that as many as 61% of UK drivers are unaware of the new regulations. Even more alarmingly, only 10% of respondents understood the new laws. It’s no surprise, then, that eight out of ten (79%) drivers didn’t think the new rules had been well publicised.