From the 1st April 2017 the current system for calculating annual road tax, otherwise known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) will change. Importantly it will only affect all new registrations, so if your vehicle is already registered and on the road then there will be no change to the way your annual road tax is calculated. The current system is based upon a banded scale of rising annual charges which relate to the CO2 emissions of every manufacturers’ models – simply the higher the CO2 emissions then the higher the annual road tax charge.
This emissions banding scheme was introduced in 2001, but in more recent years as vehicles become cleaner, their emissions levels fall and the respective VED charges decrease, the government has witnessed its annual revenues from road tax falling markedly. Their response has been to totally revamp the system and replace it with one that is based entirely upon vehicle price at the time it is first registered.
In simple terms if your vehicle is priced at more than £40,000 then the new annual road tax charge will be £450 per year for the first five years, falling to £140 annually thereafter. If the price is £40,000 or under then the annual VED will simply be £140 from year one. A couple of exceptions do apply – vehicles with zero emissions priced over £40,000 will pay £310 per year for the first years and then zero thereafter and those with zero CO2 emissions which are priced at £40,000 or less, will be free from road tax completely.
If you’re now worrying that your new campervan will be over £40,000 don’t despair as we have some good news for you.
Type Approval legislation, which was introduced in 2012, requires all campervan converters to complete detailed registration paperwork for every new van they convert and as part of that information the converter must provide the base vehicle manufacturers published CO2 emissions data for that exact vehicle model. However, when a vehicle is converted into a campervan the addition of extra weight and the altering of the roof line will change the value of the manufacturer’s CO2 emissions calculation and so the converter has no choice but to declare the emissions figure as unknown – where the figure is unknown any campervan that has a total weight of less than 3500kg will automatically fall into the Private Light Goods vehicle category which then has an annual road tax rate of £245 (if the weight is 3500kg or over then the vehicle becomes a Private Heavy Goods Vehicle and different rates and rules apply).
Finally, as point of interest, where a main manufacturer, such as VW or Mercedes, produce their own campervan, then they will know their specific CO2 emissions figure and hence will fall into the new scheme – so from 1st April 2017 all new California owners will be paying an annual road tax of £450 for the next 5 years!