The UK’s road tax system will see a serious shake up in April 2017. Most electric cars will continue to cost nothing to tax but many petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles will set you back a dramatically different amount to previous years.
Read our dedicated guide to 2017 Road Tax rates for more information or check out our new car deals page for the latest carwow offers. If you’re not sure what to buy, read our list of the 10 cheapest cars to run or our countdown of the 10 most affordable new cars on sale now.
If you have your heart set on a particular car then check our list of cars that will cost more to tax after 1 April 2017.
The new road tax system has been split into three categories. The first, for electric vehicles that emit no CO2, will cost you nothing each year providing your car costs less than £40,000 to buy. ‘Standard’ cars costing less than £40,000 will come with a £140 road tax bill while ‘Premium’ cars will set you back £450 – regardless of how much CO2 they emit.
Top five cars that’ll be cheaper to tax in 2017
Some comparatively cheap cars that emit large amounts of CO2 will no longer be shackled by expensive road tax bills. We’ve collected five examples of cars that cost less than £40,000 that could save you as much as £375 per year under the new rules.
Each car has been listed according to the average saving for tax across the whole model range. It’s worth noting the first year’s road tax is still calculated using CO2 emissions but each subsequent year will set you back a flat rate of £140 or £450 depending on the car’s original purchase price.
1. Subaru WRX STI – average saving £360
If you have to convince your other half that you need a four-wheel drive super saloon in your life, a £360 road tax saving on the Subaru WRX STI might just help seal the deal.
Its 300hp 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine will launch the WRX – and its massive rear wing – from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds but it won’t cost the earth to run. Thanks to its relatively affordable £28,995 price tag, taxing it will set you back just £140 per year compared to £500 in 2016.
2. Nissan 370Z – average saving £360
The Nissan 370Z is far from a spring chicken – it’s one of the oldest models in Nissan’s current range – but it’ll benefit from a healthy road tax discount from 2017. The 248g/km CO2 emissions from its 328hp V6 engine would previously have set you back £500 per year but, under the 2017 tax rules, you’ll only have to fork out £140.
The 370Z lags behind some rivals in terms of precision handling and high-tech equipment but it offers old-school sports car thrills in a funky looking package. As an added bonus, these new rules mean that it’ll be cheaper than ever to run, too.
3. Mitsubishi Shogun – average saving £360
The high-riding Mitsubishi Shogun is one of the most capable off-roaders on sale today. It might not be as luxurious as a Range Rover but it’ll happily pull itself out of muddy ditches with minimal fuss thanks to its dependable, if not hugely refined, 3.2-litre diesel engine.
Every Shogun except the range-topping SG5 long wheelbase models sneaks under the £40,000 mark meaning they’ll cost no more to tax each year than a Mirage supermini.
4. Ford Mustang – average saving £248
The Ford Mustang might not be everyone’s idea of cost-cutting motoring – its 5.0-litre V8 will struggle to return more than 20mpg – but, under the new road tax rules, Ford’s eponymous muscle car could cost only as much to tax as a 1.0-litre Fiesta.
It might emit as much as 299g/km of CO2 but, thanks to an affordable price tag of less than £40,000, it’ll only cost £140 per year to tax. This represents a saving of as much as £375 over previous years if you choose a V8 model and £70 for the cheaper 2.3-litre EcoBoost version.
5. SsangYong Turismo – average saving £138
The vast SsangYong Turismo boast seven seats and a hugely practical 875-litre boot. It might not be the most attractive MPV on the market but it represents better value for money than any big name rival.
Top-spec models fitted with air conditioning, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo cost less than £26,000. Not only does this mean the Turismo undercuts rivals such as the SEAT Alhambra by a massive £6,000, but it’ll cost just £140 to tax each year, too.
Top five cars that’ll cost you more to tax in 2017
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news for new car buyers in 2017. There are some cars that will cost significantly more to run thanks to the new rules. Here are five examples of cars that used to be free to tax in 2016, but will now set you back at least £140 per year.
1. Audi A3 e-tron
Under the previous 2016 system, the hybrid Audi A3 e-tron wouldn’t cost you a penny in road tax. Under the new rules, however, it’ll cost you £140 per year if you buy one after April 2017.
Despite this extra outlay, its combination of a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and 101hp electric motor means it’ll still prove cheap to run – Audi claims it’ll return 176.6mpg.
2. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has won its fair share of fans thanks to a spacious interior and affordable running costs. It’s not only able to travel 32 miles in silent electric-only mode, but it’ll return a claimed 156.9mpg, too.
Unlike Mitsubishi’s utilitarian Shogun, the Outlander PHEV will be more expensive to tax after April 2017. The standard car and 4h Auto models will cost £140 per year to tax but higher-spec versions costing more than £40,000 will relieve you of an eye-watering £450 per year.
3. Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius’ angular styling might not appeal to everyone but few drivers will argue with its ability to return as much as 94mpg. A CVT automatic gearbox makes it easy to drive around town but hard acceleration will be accompanied by a great deal of engine noise.
Under the new 2017 road tax rules, new Prius buyers will have to fork out an extra £140 each year. With entry-level cars costing from just £24,100, it’s still one of the most affordable family hybrids currently on sale, however.
4. Audi Q7 e-tron
The Audi Q7 e-tron blends a high-tech hybrid drive system with plenty of luxurious touches. Its exquisitely trimmed cabin comes packed with impressive levels of standard kit and enough room for five adults to travel long distances in comfort.
In 2016, its combination of an efficient 3.0-litre diesel engine and a 126hp electric motor was environmentally friendly enough to avoid paying any road tax but. Under the new 2017 rules, you’ll have to shell out £450 every year.
5. VW Passat GTE Estate
The surprisingly rapid VW Passat GTE Estate not only offers enough room for five adults and a fair 483 litres of luggage but it’ll travel up to 30 miles in fully electric mode. Once its all-electric range has been exhausted, its 1.4-litre petrol engine is capable of returning an impressive 166mpg.
Unfortunately, this sensible family estate car is no longer free to tax under the new system. Entry-level models sneak under the all-important £40,000 barrier and will cost you £140 per year as a result. Top-spec Advance models – with a larger infotainment display, leather seats and 360º parking camera – will set you back £450 each year, however.
Save money on your new car
If you’ve picked the perfect new car, visit our new car deals page to see how much you could save or check out our PCP calculator to get a better idea of how much it could cost per month or. If you’re not sure what to buy, let our car chooser tool help narrow down your search.