Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - News -

CHANGES to new ve­hi­cle ex­cise duty ( VED – com­monly known as road tax) come into ef­fect for new ve­hi­cles taxed from 1st April this year. And the un­wary are in for some un­pleas­ant sur­prises – over the next five years! The gov­ern­ment would have us be­lieve that ad­di­tional monies raised will be rein­vested into much needed road re­pairs, lit­tle com­fort to scep­ti­cal car own­ers. How­ever, the pain can be min­imised if you choose your next car brand care­fully.

The new sys­tem taxes the car in year 1 based on its emis­sions, es­sen­tially, the “dirt­ier” the car the more you will pay in year 1. Then a flat rate road tax of £140 an­nu­ally ap­plies from year 2 on­wards. Go­ing for­ward only zero emis­sion ve­hi­cles are ex­empt (e.g. elec­tric cars) – small en­gine city cars are now dragged into the tax­a­tion net.

How­ever, buy­ers of cars above £40,000 list price face real pain. They pay year 1 tax based on emis­sions, then in year 2,3,4 and 5 will pay an ad­di­tional £310 per an­num over and above the new stan­dard rate of £140. That’s a whop­ping £1800 in road taxes from years 2 through 5 and will im­pact hard on sales of high end ve­hi­cles, par­tic­u­larly mod­er­ate mileage users.

There are no short cuts to get round this new lux­ury class – the £40,000 is based on list price, no mat­ter the dis­count ne­go­ti­ated, the tax re­mains puni­tively high. Fac­tory ac­ces­sories fall into the tax band cal­cu­la­tion – so think twice about satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and other “must have” ex­tras.

All is not lost, how­ever! Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer Subaru’s en­tire range of ve­hi­cles sit well be­low this new im­por­tant £40,000 thresh­old. Buy­ers of their lux­ury SUV’S such as Forester and Out­back will en­joy su­perb equip­ment lev­els and avoid the new pre­mium through years 2 to 5. Subaru’s in­dus­try lead­ing Eyesight safety tech­nol­ogy col­li­sion avoid­ance sys­tem is stan­dard on Out­back Lin­eartron­ics and now comes fit­ted on 2017 Levorg. Load ev­ery con­ceiv­able ex­tra to your wish list on any new Subaru and you still come in be­low the £40,000 band­ing (and have their won­der­ful AWD petrol or diesel Box­ers to en­joy on your daily com­mute). Spare a thought for the driver of the Ger­man car be­hind you – he will be qui­etly fizzing at the thought of pay­ing for your share of road re­pair bills!

The new changes only af­fect cars – if you drive a pick-up on the farm you con­tinue to en­joy the sim­ple com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle tax Band and of course the ad­di­tional fis­cal ben­e­fits that al­low you to off­set not only the en­tire pur­chase price against your tax bill, but also re­coup all run­ning costs and VAT as­so­ci­ated with th­ese ve­hi­cles. (If you’re un­clear on how this works pop into any of your six North­ern Ire­land Isuzu Pick-up Pro­fes­sion­als – they em­ploy spe­cially trained ad­vis­ers to keep you fully in­formed of tax­a­tion, and the all im­por­tant tow­ing ben­e­fits of choos­ing an Isuzu D-max).

Be sure to say the Belfast Tele­graph sent you!

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