New car tax laws boost interest in used cars


Used Cars in Norwich, Norfolk

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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 Confused.com’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, Confused.com’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.

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