Official: road tax IS retrospective...

  • Official figures are misleading
  • Stats also include company cars
  • Optimistic predictions for green car sales
  • A third of all drivers must pay £100 or more

Following months of speculation, the Government has finally confirmed what thousands of families have feared: road tax will be made retrospective from 2009. Parker's has conducted research that shows more families will lose out than Treasury figures suggest. 

 

The truth

The Government claims that one-in-three drivers will pay less for road tax when the new rules come into force next year, with 39% paying the same and 43% of car owners losing out.

But Parker’s has discovered that the figures also include cars run by company fleets. This skews the figures as company cars tend to be cleaner as businesses look to save money and don't necessarily need larger vehicles - such as a Ford Galaxy - as families do. 

As business fleet sales made up 51% of total UK car registrations in 2007, the stats are distorted and appear better than they actually are.

This makes the truth less rosy for everyday drivers, who will face increased road tax costs over the next few years.

Using our own figures, based on what valuations carried out on parkers.co.uk, we can reveal:

  • Eight out of ten families will be worse off by at least £10.
  • One-in-three family cars will cost an extra £100 more to tax in 2010.

Road tax exemption

Drivers of cars with rock-bottom emission levels (that's 100 g/km or less) will be rewarded with road tax exemption, under the latest proposals. But the Government’s forecast that only 400 cars in the UK will qualify in 2009, demonstrates how few owners will actually benefit from free road tax next year.

Only 6.8% of cars will be classified in the four lowest road tax bands A-D from April 2009, while 29% fall into the four highest groupings, J-M.

Find out your car’s tax band for now, next year and 2010 here.

The official stats also estimate that the number of cars with emissions below 100g/km CO2 (in road tax band A) will surge from 400 in 2009 to 9000 in 2010.

This predicted annual rise of 8400 extra green cars is optimistic, as only 544 new cars registered last year are in the lowest road tax band.

It is also presumptuous that owners hit by rising inflation and ever-increasing motoring costs will be able to afford a brand new, low-emission car.