April 2020 road tax changes
Road tax, otherwise known as Vehicle Excise Duty or Road Fund Licence, is a yearly fee charged to all car owners. The amount due is dependent the vehicle’s CO2 emissions levels, as recorded when the vehicle was first registered. Simply put, the higher your vehicle’s CO2 emissions, the more your annual road tax bill will be.
Revisions to road tax fees and relating tax bandings are nothing new and there have been a number of significant changes made in recent years. Most recently these have equated to relief for drivers of electric or hybrid vehicles and, conversely, penalisations for diesel and other high polluting models.
The latest change, due on vehicles registered on or after April 2020, will further this divide. This is because the tax bandings for newly registered vehicles will be decided based on new WLTP figures as opposed to the NEDC method used previously.
Why will road tax fees change under WLTP testing?
WLTP (the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) has been introduced to replace the outdated NEDC test (New European Driving Cycle) for recording vehicle emissions levels. Where the NEDC test recorded a vehicle’s CO2 output based on artificial, laboratory-based environments, the WLTP has been designed specifically to be a more rigorous and realistic test. Consequentially, a more truthful (and therefore in most cases higher) CO2 figure will be produced for each vehicle.
Although the actual CO2 output of a vehicle may not have changed, due to more accurate testing the CO2 output recorded for each vehicle is now likely to be higher. In some cases considerably so.