Save hundreds - buy your car before tax changes in April

  • New VED bands for cars registered from 1 April 2020
  • Significant tax increases for petrol and diesels
  • Electric vehicles will get cheaper
  • Buy before 1 April and save up to £960

2019 Range Rover Velar rear

New tax rates coming in April 2020 will raise the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) considerably for big, expensive, polluting cars.

Which means consumers looking for this type of car can save hundreds of pounds in tax bills, if they buy before April 1 2020.

Why is VED changing?

April marks the first time that road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), will be calculated using a new, and more stringent way of measuring vehicle CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) replaces the outgoing test, known as the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

There will be 15 new tax bands. The government reckons most people will pay around 20% more than in previous years.

More polluting cars, such as ones with big and powerful diesel engines, will be the most heavily hit. Some cars will cost £960 more to tax in the car's first year than in the previous year.

This is only on the first year. In the following years, petrol and diesel cars will pay a flat rate of £145 a year, and hybrids will pay £135 a year. Electric cars will pay £0.

New cars with a list price of £40,000 will cost an extra £320 a year for five years, from the second year.

Broadly, the reason for the VED changing is to incentivise drivers to switch to cleaner, more environmentally friendly cars.

£960 is the most amount of money you'll save

And that is a load of money. In total, the first-year rate of VED for vehicles registered from 1 April with CO2 emissions of more than 255g/km will be £2,135. Yikes.

Which is why consumers wanting to buy these types of big polluting SUVs, like Range Rovers, should consider buying before 1 April 2020.

Even those looking for more modestly priced cars can still save by buying now. Mazda's top-spec CX-5 in diesel form, with four-wheel-drive, jumps from band H to band J in April 2020. This increases the first year's VED from £530 to £1,280.

What this means for you

Because of the tax changes, buying a new car before April 2020 means you could save a good chunk of change on the car's first year VED. Conversely, it also means that consumers can save money by buying green cars post April 2020.

The new testing procedure also means that your new car is more thoroughly tested, and the fuel economy rating manufacturers provide is more reliable.

Cars to buy before the VED changes

2017 Soul Red Mazda CX-5 moving

Range Rover Velar - save up to £960
Land Rover Discovery Sport - save up to £960
Jaguar E-Pace - save up to £960
Kia Sorento - save up to £960
Mazda CX-5 - save up to £750

Further reading:

>> Car tax checker

>> Company car tax calculator

>> The best new car deals