03 February 2012 by Parkers Team

  • New cars that cost nothing in road tax
  • From the Peugeot 208 to the Citroen DS5
  • Look at the key cars coming in 2012 here

This year looks set to busy for car makers with a selection of all new models on the way. Key though in these straightened times is to produce cars with low running costs and the price of road tax is one of the most important factors.

With a raft of new city cars set to hit showrooms, more models that cost nothing to tax are starting to surface. While the Skoda Citigo and Peugeot 208 are obvious examples of small cars with low running costs, bigger cars such as the Citroen DS5 and Hyundai i30 will also cost £0 to put on the road.

We’ve been looking at all the new models arriving in 2012 and picked out some cars that will cost you nothing in first year ‘showroom tax’ as well as being exempt from the yearly tax bill thereafter.

1. Skoda Citigo

What is it?   

Set to arrive in the summer, the Citigo is Skoda’s version of the Volkswagen up! and SEAT Mii – which means you can opt for any of them if you’re after a tax-exempt city car. The Citigo will be available as a five-door or three-door model, while the Green Tec model is the one to choose as the 96g/km emissions make it free to tax.

2. Peugeot 208

What is it?   

It’s been some time coming, but finally the French firm is set to replace the rather tired looking 207. The stylish small hatchback takes design inspiration from the impressive 508, while all the engines in the range, including the petrol options, will dip below the 100g/km mark and be exempt from road tax.

3. Hyundai i30

What is it?   

The progression of Hyundai over the past five years has been quite impressive. From the original i30 back in 2007 to the new i40 Tourer model, the manufacturer has gone from strength to strength. The latest version of the i30 looks set to continue this progression. It will be available with a 1.6-litre CRDi engine badged asBlue Drive. Emissions for certain trim levels drop to 97g/km.

4. Renault Zoe

What is it?   

Renault is set to bring a number of different electric models in 2012, but the Zoe is possibly the most interesting and exciting one. It’s just slightly bigger than the standard Clio model and will go from zero to 62mph in just 8.1 seconds, which is fairly impressive. Of course being electric emissions are claimed as 0g/km, so not tax to pay.

5. Audi A1 Sportback

What is it?   

Ok, so it’s not technically a new car, the three-door version has been around since 2010, but the A1 Sportback brings the appeal of the premium small hatchback along with some added practicality. This model will get the same low-emitting and fuel efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine from the three-door model.

6. Citroen DS5

What is it?   

The third model in the company’s line of premium DS5 model, the DS5 is a sleek looking alternative to the likes of the Vauxhall Insignia and Volkswagen Passat. It’s engaging to drive and has plenty of neat interior design touches. For a tax-free model you’ll have to pick the Hybrid4 version in 200 Airdream DSign trim, which blends low costs and performance very well.

7. Fiat Panda

What is it?   

Having built a reputation as one of the best small cars around, which also offers incredibly low running costs, a new Fiat Panda is an exciting prospect – okay, maybe not that exciting. An improved interior finish and the addition of the low cost TwinAir engines mean it’s still one of the best city cars around.

8. Kia Cee'd

What is it?   

Details are scarce but, like Hyundai, Kia’s stock has risen rather impressively and a new Cee’d is likely keep this going. The excellent new Rio and Picanto, along with the Optima, have further enhanced the firm’s reputation. There are no details on engines yet, but an EcoDynamics version is likely to fall in to the £0 tax band.

9. Toyota Aygo

What is it?   

Like the A1 Sportback, it’s not strictly a new car, but Toyota has given the Aygo a refresh ready for 2012. It gets the usual cosmetic updates including a new front end design and some upgraded interior materials. However, the big news is that due to engine improvements, it now emits 99g/km making it road tax exempt.

10. Vauxhall Ampera

What is it?   

So, this isn’t an electric car. It’s not a hybrid either. Confusingly, the Vauxhall Ampera is a range extender. This means that when the electric power runs out a petrol engine works as a generator to supply the required power to run the electric motors. The Chevrolet Volt works in the same way, meaning both cost £0 per year in tax.