25 June 2008 by Parkers Team

  • Soaring cost of tax means some cars unsellable by 2010
  • Thousands of families will be left with a virtually worthless car
  • Also the continued rise in fuel prices adds extra pressure

The increased cost of road tax means that higher emitting vehicles that are now worth between £800 and £2,000 will become virtually impossible to sell when road tax changes come into full force in March 2010.

These cars were typically registered in 2001 and, although they emit upwards of 225 g/km, they are in perfectly good working order – cars that otherwise would not be ready for the scrap yard.

Top rate of road tax 

Owners of these cars will now pay the top rate of road tax – up to £455 from 2010. Previously this only applied to cars registered after 26 March 2006 and older cars emitting more than 225 g/km CO2 were exempt.

 Many owners would have bought their car thinking they were exempt, only to be hit by a retrospective tax rise. This huge hike in road tax – often as much as the half the car’s value – means that many will become worthless.

Car values 

Once the changes come into force it will wipe at least £500 off values. That reduces the value of a Hyundai Lantra down to around £450 – the cost its annual tax disc.

Even people carriers – which are traditionally better protected from rising running costs due to their practicality – are hit hard.

A 2001 Renault Espace 3.0 V6 Auto will be worth little over £1000 by 2010. That compares to its current value of £1800. Usually a car like this would lose very little over the next two years.

Hard hit vehicles due to road tax changes:

Model CO2 (g/km) Value now Road tax (2010)
Daewoo Tacuma 2.0 CDX auto (01/Y) 265 £1305 £455
Vauxhall Vectra 2.6 V6 CDX auto (01/Y) 250 £1735 £430
Citroen C5 3.0 V6 Exclusive auto (01/Y) 241 £1325 £430
Proton Wira 1.8 Lux auto (01/Y)  226  £850 £430
Renault Laguna 3.0 V6 Dynamique auto (01/Y)  240 £1805 £430
Hyundai XG30 (01/Y)  270 £1150 £455
Hyundai Sonata 2.5 V6 auto (01/Y) 246 £1005 £430
Hyundai Lantra 2.0 CDX auto (01/Y) 241 £950 £430
Kia Magentis 2.5 V6 LX auto (01/Y) 257  £950 £455
Mitsubishi Galant 2.5 V6 auto (01/Y) 238 £1795 £430