Estate cars with £30 road tax

Need a practical, big-booted car but want one with cheap road tax? Check out the best estates with £30 annual road tax here

James Wilson
Nov 30, 2021

Estate cars that come with £30 road tax offer a great blend of space and low running costs. They are often supremely practical thanks to their large boots, yet they can also be stylish, great to drive and barely cost any more to run than much smaller cars.

To qualify for £30-per-year road tax, there are a couple of criteria an estate car must meet. One is to do with age, with vehicles having to be registered between March 1 2001 and March 31 2017. This is because from April 1 2017 the UK government changed the rates for road tax and in the process ended the £30-per-year tax band. The second element relates to the car's CO2 emission figure.

All modern cars have an official CO2 emissions figure. New cars sold between 2001 and 2017 that emit between 111g/km and 120g/km of CO2 qualify for £30 annual road tax. Cars' official CO2 figures vary depending upon their specification, with optional extras like big wheels or potentially automatic gearboxes affecting the official figure and potentially which tax band the car falls into.

So, if you want to make sure your next car costs just £30 to tax, you'll need to have your wits about you when looking at adverts, to make sure that specific cars qualify for £30-per-year road tax before settling on one.

We have detailed a number of excellent options below with £30 road tax. These estate cars are inexpensive to tax, but they vary in how much they cost to buy or finance and also in their size, from compact models that are relatively small but have reasonably large boots, to big cars with enormous loading areas.

These options typically cost between £10,000 and £25,000 depending on age, which roughly equates to £175* to £375* per month on PCP finance. At the bottom of our shortlist we have also included several estate cars that cost less than £30 per year to tax, should you wish to reduce your motoring overheads even further.

Estate cars with £30 road tax

1. Skoda Octavia Estate

Our pick Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0 TDI CR vRS
Used deals from £13,795
Monthly finance from £246*

In recent years Skoda has established itself as a maker of practical, well-built cars that are impressively affordable. The Octavia Estate embodies this perfectly. The third-generation Octavia Estate was sold from 2013 to 2020 and it still looks modern and has plenty of kit - especially in well-equipped trims such as SE Technology, Elegance and vRS. The vRS versions are the sporty models, so if you like a car that can accelerate quickly and is agile around corners, these are the Octavias to aim for.

There are both petrol and diesel vRS models, but it is the diesel option that qualifies for £30-per-year road tax. Despite offering strong claimed fuel economy, the Octavia vRS diesel is great fun to drive quickly, offering plenty of punch and good roadholding. If you would rather have an Octavia that prioritises economy over performance, then there are slower diesel models which can even qualify for £0 road tax - look for one of the 1.6-litre diesels if free tax appeals.

SKODA OCTAVIA BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Mazda 6 Tourer

Our pick Mazda 6 Tourer 2.2d Sport Nav
Used deals Limited stock

The 6 Tourer is stylish and surprisingly enjoyable to drive, but it is still a practical and comfortable family car. The 6 offers solid build quality, plenty of space - and it can handle up to 522 litres of cargo, which is slightly more than the Ford Mondeo Estate but less than the Skoda Octavia Estate - and decent levels of standard equipment.

The 6 also looks very sharp for this type of car, with striking styling that makes it seem both modern and upmarket. Also, the 6 handles corners very well for a car of this type and comes with very powerful but smooth and refined diesel engines. Models which are £30 per year to tax all come with the 148hp 2.2-litre diesel engine, which offers a good blend of power and economy. There is a 173hp diesel engine, too, but unless you get that in saloon form, it will cost you £100 more to tax per year.

MAZDA 6 BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Mini Clubman

Our pick Mini Clubman 1.5 Cooper
Used deals from £11,483
Monthly finance from £249*

The Mini Clubman is ideal for anyone who likes the idea of a practical estate car and reasonably large boot opening but who doesn’t need a vast overall carrying capacity. This is because the boot is only able to carry 360 litres of luggage, which is less than a standard VW Golf hatchback.

Importantly, the boot opening of the Mini is nice and square, so getting larger items in is still pretty easy. Plus, if you fold the rear seats down, there is no step in the boot floor, making it simple to load large and/or heavy items, without having to haul them over a ridge in the boot floor.

Models that cost £30 per year to tax include 1.5-litre petrol Cooper Clubmans. These are surprisingly nippy yet should still be relatively economical. As for the driving experience, the Mini Clubman offers a slightly more grown-up feel than the smaller hatchback Minis, being more comfortable and better suited to longer journeys.

MINI CLUBMAN BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Mercedes C-Class Estate

Our pick Mercedes C220d BlueTEC Sport Auto Estate
Used deals from £13,816
Monthly finance from £252*

Mercedes combined luxury and practicality very well with the previous generation C-Class Estate. Its boot measures in at 460 litres, which puts the C-Class between cars like the Mini Clubman and the Mazda 6 Tourer in boot volume. There are a wide range of petrol and diesel engines available with the C-Class but it is the '220d Bluetec' engine that we suggest you aim for if you want a vehicle that costs £30 per year in road tax.

While the Mazda 6 above offers a sporty feel, the C-Class majors on comfort instead, providing a relaxed feel from behind the wheel - especially with the 220d diesel engine, which offers a reasonable amount of power, but is more suited to cruising than blasting around at speed. No Mercedes C-Class is poorly equipped but we’d recommend an AMG Line model if you like a slightly more sporty look and feel.

MERCEDES C-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Seat Leon ST

Our pick Seat Leon ST 1.4 EcoTSI 150 FR DSG
Used deals from £10,300
Monthly finance from £220*

The Seat Leon is built around the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf. This means you get the same great built quality, same intuitive media system and same frugal engines. Better still, as Seat cars are typically less popular than VWs, they can often be scooped up for less second-hand - so it is a win-win. The 'ST' estate model is available in a number of low-tax forms, including those with petrol and diesel engines.

There are also a handful of models that qualify for less than £30 per year road tax, however our favourite is the 1.4 EcoTSI 150 FR DSG. FR trim is one of Seat’s more popular trims as it combines sporty styling with decent levels of equipment. The 1.4-litre EcoTSI engine is a peppy motor that produces around 150hp, which is relatively strong for a non-performance car. ‘DSG’ in the name, refers to a slick 'dual-clutch' automatic gearbox, which provides the ST with impressively fast and smooth gear changes.

SEAT LEON BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Volkswagen Passat Estate

Our pick Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI SCR 190 R-Line DSG
Used deals from £16,889
Monthly finance from £336*

The Passat Estate is a very sensible car, proving comfortable, spacious and upmarket. Consequently, it's not a car for boy racers or those who want something super-sporty, but it is an excellent head-over-heart estate car, offering a very practical boot area, a really plush feeling cabin and plenty of standard equipment.

One of the most common engines in the Passat is a 150hp 2.0-litre diesel engine and this qualifies for £30-per-year road tax. You can even find quicker 190hp versions that still qualify for the low tax band. Such power means that the Passat isn't rapid, but it does pick up speed without fuss on the motorway, making it effortless to drive. If you would rather the lowest possible running costs, though, the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel engine is still more than punchy enough for most drivers.

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT ESTATE BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Volvo V60

Our pick Volvo V60 D3 R Design Lux Nav Geartronic
Used deals from £13,690
Monthly finance from £273*

Although the previous version of the Volvo V60 was removed from sale in 2018, it is still a stylish and desirable car. The main rivals for the V60 are the likes of the BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant, though Volvo prioritises ride comfort and super-supportive seats over sportiness like BMW and glitzy cabin details like the Mercedes and Audi alternatives.

Volvo updated the V60 in 2014 and part of this included revised styling, giving the V60 a more modern look. If your budget allows, we’d recommend shopping for a post-update model as these versions feel more up-to-date. Whichever version you go for, the V60 has a relatively small boot, with a claimed volume of 430 litres. Therefore, if you want your estate car to major on efficiency over space, it could be a good option, though rivals including the Mazda 6 Tourer and VW Passat Estate are much wiser options if you need a big boot.

VOLVO V60 BUYERS' GUIDE

Estate cars with road tax of less than £30 per year

The line between cars that are £30 per year to tax and £20 per year to tax is very fine indeed, with some models appearing on both sides of the threshold - depending on the specific trim and options fitted. Similarly, the line between cars that cost £20 and £0 per year can be very fine.

This is why we have included some alternatives that could save you even more on your annual road tax bills - with tax of just £20 or even £0. Despite the low tax, there's no need to skimp on style or space here.

1. Renault Megane Sport Tourer

Our pick Renault Megane Sport Tourer 1.6 dCi Signature Nav
Used deals from £7,500
Monthly finance from £177*

The latest version of the Megane was launched in 2016 and it remains a very stylish car - even in practical Sport Tourer estate form. Models with the 108hp 1.6-litre diesel engine can qualify for £20 per year road tax, making them an appealing option as a low-tax estate.

RENAULT MEGANE BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

Our pick Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake 220 CDI AMG Sport Tip Auto
Used deals from £15,799
Monthly finance from £230*

The CLA Shooting Brake is basically a streamlined estate version of the Mercedes CLA, which is pitched as a more stylish version of the Mercedes A-Class hatchback. Confused? While the CLA is far from the most practical estate car, it is one of the only small, upmarket estates available. Furthermore, 220d models in sporty AMG Line can slot into the £20-per-year road tax bracket.

MERCEDES CLA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Skoda Fabia Estate

Skoda Fabia Estate side view

Our pick Skoda Fabia Estate 1.2 TSI SE DSG
Used deals from £6,229
Monthly finance from £129*

The Fabia Estate is affordable to buy or finance, cheap to run and spacious enough for your average family - or even those with dogs, bikes, camping gear or other bulky equipment to cart around. Plus, if you want an automatic car, 1.2-litre TSI petrol models in SE specification are only £20 per year to tax - despite the big boot at the back.

SKODA FABIA BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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