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Understanding UK car tax
Under the current system of car tax (also known as Vehicle Excise Duty), tax rates are based on a vehicle's official tail-pipe CO2 emissions and list price. There are 13 CO2 tax bands which affect the level of car tax payable. The list price influences whether the car attracts the Standard Rate or Premium Rate, the latter applying for cars with a list price of £40,000 or more.
For cars registered from 01 April 2017, a First Year Rate (FYR) applies for the first 12 months which is also dependent on a car's CO2 emissions. Diesel cars registered from 01 April 2018 not meeting the Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standard for air quality (NOx) also have to pay a FYR supplement to the effect that these cars go up by one VED band.
When buying a new car, vehicle owners initially pay the First Year Rate, followed by the Standard Rate for all subsequent years. Where the Premium rate applies, the First Year Rate is followed by Premium Rate payments for years two to six, after which tax rates revert to the Standard Rate.