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How much is road tax for electric cars?

Our guide to electric car road tax - whether you need to pay and how it works

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UPDATE: in November 2022, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced that electric vehicles would have to pay road tax from 2025.

EVs are set to be charged the lowest band for new cars in the first year – currently £10 – and will then pay the same rate as other vehicles.

Electric car road tax

When it comes to getting on the road in a new car, there are a few extra costs you might have to factor in. Alongside insurance and any finance payments, you’ll usually have to pay road tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) to be able to enjoy your new wheels.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a great way to skip some of those extra ownership costs. You’ll be exempt from congestion charges and the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), but will you need to pay for road tax?

Do I pay road tax on an electric car?

Drivers of EVs rejoice – no road tax payments for you! Currently, all-electric cars are exempt from road tax charges, so you can skip those extra costs.

As road tax charges are calculated based on the car’s price, CO2 emissions, and how it’s fuelled, you won't be required to pay if you’re driving an EV. This is because EVs put out zero CO2 while they’re on the road – cheaper to get on the road in, and kinder to the environment.

Do hybrid cars need to pay road tax?

Unfortunately, hybrid car owners still need to pay road tax. It’s not all bad news – hybrid cars often have lower CO2 outputs and might be eligible for cheaper road tax than a standard petrol or diesel model. Until you ditch traditional fuel completely and switch to a full EV, you’ll still be required to pay to tax your car.

Do I still need to tax my electric car?

Don't get this mixed up – your road tax for your electric car is free, but you still need to tax it.

EVs are exempt from road tax charges, not road tax entirely, so you’ll still need to tax your car to avoid being hit with a fine while out and about. If you’re switching to electric power to enjoy some of those lower running costs, racking up fines for not taxing your vehicle is definitely not ideal!

Will I need to pay the road tax surcharge on my electric car?

The road tax surcharge is an extra fee for cars valued at more than £45,000 when bought new, and means the buyer will need to pay £365 per year on top of their road tax. This charge only applies for the first five years, and applies to hybrid, petrol, and diesel cars.

As of April 2020, fully electric cars are exempt from the road tax surcharge. Even if your EV costs more than £45,000 in total, you won’t need to pay the extra fee.

How is road tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) calculated?

Since March 2001, road tax has been calculated using the tailpipe CO2 emissions, while cars older than that date will see their tax based on the size of the engine.

As EVs have zero tailpipe emissions, that means the road tax will be calculated as zero.

If you’d like to work out the cost of taxing another new vehicle, you can use the calculator on the official government website.

How much is road tax on an electric car?

While road tax for electric cars is currently free, you will have to pay from April 2025.

You'll have to pay the lowest rate road tax for any EV registered after 1 April 2017, and then the standard rate for the years after that.

New electric cars registered after 1 April 2025 will also be subject to the expensive car supplement. This means you'll need to pay an extra road tax cost on cars over £40,000.

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