Road tax free cars

Avoid Vehicle Excise Duty with a road tax free car. Find out how here

Jul 12, 2018

Cake is a national obsession for us Brits. You only need to look at viewing figures for The Great British Bake Off (around 7 million) to understand this.

This cake obsessed nation of ours also invented the idiom, to have your cake and eat it. Meaning you can’t have the best of both worlds, or everything you want. Well, with a road tax free car, you can have your cake, and devour it hole - because you get the benefits of a car, but don’t have to pay for the pleasure of having it.

If you want a new car with free road tax though, you’ll have to opt for something without exhaust pipes. From the 1 April 2017, the road-tax system changed, meaning that if you buy a new car, only zero emissions vehicles are road tax free. That means cars like the Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul EV, and Renault Zoe forgo taxing. There are exceptions though.

An electric car needs to cost under £40,000 for it to be tax-free. This means cars like the Tesla Model S and Jaguar I-Pace do not avoid the duty.

If you don’t want to pay road tax, or buy an electric  (or hydrogen) powered car, there is another option though. And that’s buying used. This is because, the car tax system change (mentioned above) only applies to cars registered after 1 April 2017. If a car was registered before this date, and produces less than 100g CO2 per kilometre, it is still completely free of tax.

And lots of great used cars fall into this bracket. Everyday cars like the Skoda Octavia Estate, Nissan Qashqai, and Vauxhall Astra to name just a few. Do remember to check the figures though. The same car can make more or less CO2 depending on which engine it uses, what technology it has installed, and even what wheel size it has.

You can find some of the best used taxed exempt cars here

An important warning: people have been inadvertently breaking the law by not ‘taxing’ their tax-exempt vehicle. That’s because, even if you do own a tax-free car, you still need to apply for tax every year. Failing to do so can result in an £80 fine, or your car can be clamped or even towed away.


The most notable exemption from tax is for historic vehicles, those over 40 years old. The tax free-coding for these types of vehicles is rolling and changes every year. For example, vehicles made before 1 January 1978 were exempt from tax from 1 April 2018.

Vehicles used by a disabled person, disabled passenger vehicles, mobility scooters, powered wheelchairs, and invalid carriages are also sans tax.

Mowing machines, and steam vehicles, are also tax free.


Latest buyer’s guides

  1. Environmentally-friendly cars

  2. Best self-parking cars

  3. Cars under £7,000

What our customers say