Road tax: First year losers

  • Cars that fare badly in first year showroom tax
  • Expect to pay a tax premium in the first year
  • To see how much road tax you will pay, go here

Choosing which new car to buy, based on the yearly road tax prices, is a sensible way of cutting your running costs.

As well as the yearly road tax bill you get, however, you’ll also want to check just how much the car is going to cost you in the first year.

Since April 1, 2010, a first year 'showroom' tax has been introduced on all new cars. Like conventional road tax, this is based on the vehicle's emissions. For some models, with low emissions, buyers will pay nothing in the first year.

Other models, with substantially higher emissions, will have a more costly first-year rate. In some instances this can be more than double the annual road tax cost.

We’ve highlighted some of the models you should avoid if you don’t want to pay an increased first year cost.

Chevrolet Orlando 1.8 LT Auto

What is it?   

The Orlando is the American maker’s first foray in to the seven-seat people carrier market. In diesel guise with a manual gearbox it is a decent first attempt, too. Try to avoid the petrol model though, especially with the automatic gearbox, as you will pay £200 more in first year tax than subsequent years.

Price new: £18,420

Emissions: 186g/km

Road tax: £245

First year tax: £445

Kia Sedona 2.2 CRDi 2

What is it?   

Compared to the rest of the Kia range, the Sedona is starting to feel a little old. Introduced before the brand’s recent resurgence it lags well behind cars like the Ford C-Max or Renault Grand Scenic in the emissions battle. Even the manual diesel model will see you hit with an extra cost in the first year.

Price new: £23,200

Emissions: 179g/km

Road tax: £210

First year tax: £315

Mazda MX-5 2.0 Sport Tech Roadster Coupe

What is it?   

The little sports car has been praised over the years for being an affordable car which is a lot of fun to drive. It comes with a 2.0-litre engine producing 157bhp, but despite the car’s small stature emissions are still pretty high. That mean you’ll pay £100 extra in the first year, compared to any of the following years.

Price new: £22,900

Emissions: 181g/km

Road tax: £210

First year tax: £315

MG Motor UK MG6 1.8T SE

What is it?   

The return of MG is an interesting prospect. It’s been 16 years since a new model from the company was sold in the UK. Available as either a saloon or hatchback, it's currently on sale with just a single petrol engine in the range. The lack of a diesel engine means emissions are relatively high and so tax prices takes a hit, especially in the first year.

Price new: £17,510

Emissions: 184g/km

Road tax: £210

First year tax: £315

Vauxhall Insignia 1.8T SRI

What is it?   

Of course, if you’re buying an Insignia you’re likely to opt for a diesel model. However, if you do find yourself after a decent-sized petrol hatchback then it’s worth swerving to avoid the Vauxhall. Despite the relatively small petrol engine, the emissions figures push it in to the higher bands of road tax. That brings about substantially increased costs.

Price new: £22,365

Emissions: 177g/km

Road tax: £210

First year tax: £315

Parkers Top Tip

If you would consider buying a new car online, or through a broker, you can find out the best price by checking out the Parkers Best Car Deals section. You can also read the full Parkers car review for more information on cars that you're interested in.