Do Electric Cars Pay Road Tax?

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 3 days ago

5 min read

  • Car ownership
EV charging

WhoCanFixMyCar discusses whether electric car owners have to pay road tax.

The rules around electric vehicle (EV) road tax are changing in 2025. Previously, drivers of zero-emissions vehicles were exempt from paying, but that will no longer be the case. Read on to learn more about these changes and how they might affect you.

Contents

What is electric car road tax?

Do electric cars pay road tax?

How much do electric vehicle drivers pay for road tax?

How much will electric car tax be in 2025?

How much is road tax for hybrid cars?

Why have I been fined for not paying road tax on my electric car?

Will I have to pay road tax on electric cars after 2035?


In a nutshell: Fully electric vehicles are exempt from paying road tax until April 2025. Plug-in hybrid vehicles have always paid road tax. EVs with a list price above £40,000 will be charged an additional five-year premium rate.


What is electric car road tax?

Road tax, also known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is a legally required annual payment for motor vehicles that use the UK’s public roads. It is collected by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). Check out this guide to learn more about VED and how it works.

Road tax is calculated based on emissions levels; vehicles with higher emissions cost more to tax, and the money contributes to the upkeep of our roads, amongst other things.


Do electric cars pay road tax?

Since the amount of road tax you must pay is based on your vehicle’s emissions, EV drivers don’t have to pay anything to tax their cars - the annual VED is free of charge.

However, from 2025, zero-emissions vehicles will also have to pay road tax for the first time. This change is due to the increasing number of zero-emissions vehicles on the road, which has led to a decrease in revenue from road tax.

An electric vehicle charging.

How much do electric vehicle drivers pay for road tax?

Even though EV drivers don’t have to pay anything, they must still get their vehicles taxed yearly.

For an electric vehicle to be exempt from road tax, it must be charged from an external power source, such as an at-home charging point. The battery must not be connected to any other power source while driving.

Most other vehicles, including hybrids, must pay vehicle tax annually.


How much will electric car tax be in 2025?

Owners of EVs will have to pay road tax from 1st of April 2025. This change, aimed at making the motoring tax system fairer, was announced by the Government in the 2022 Autumn Budget. 

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt stated: “To make our motoring tax system fairer, I’ve decided that electric vehicles will no longer be exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).”

Here are the changes you need to be aware of:

  • New electric cars registered on or after the 1st of April 2025 will be liable to pay the lowest first-year rate, which is currently £10 a year.

  • EVs will move to the standard rate of £190 a year from the second year onwards.

  • Zero emissions vehicles registered between the 1st of April 2017 and the 31st of March 2025 will also pay the standard rate.

  • The Expensive Cars Supplement exemption will also end for EVs in 2025. Electric cars registered on or after the 1st of April 2025 worth more than £40,000 will have to pay this supplement for five years.

  • Zero and low-emission vehicles registered between the 1st of March 2001 and the 30th of March 2017 that are currently in Band A will move to Band B, paying £20 a year.

  • Zero emission vans will move to the rate for petrol and diesel light goods vehicles, which is £336 a year for most vans.

  • Zero-emission motorcycles will move to the rate for the smallest engine size, costing £25 a year.

  • Rates for hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles will also be equalised.


How much is road tax for hybrid cars? 

Hybrid cars have always been required to pay road tax but have enjoyed a cheaper rate than their petrol and diesel counterparts. In 2025, that will change, and they will start paying road tax at the standard rate.

First-year road tax rate

CO2 emissionsHybrid carsPetrol and RDE2 standard diesel cars
0g/km£0£0
1-50g/km£0£10
51-75g/km£15£25
76-90g/km£105£115
91-100g/km£130£140
101-110g/km£150£160
111-130g/km£170£180
131-150g/km£210£220
151-170g/km£545£555
171-190g/km£885£895
191-225g/km£1,335£1,345
226-255g/km£1,900£1,910
Over 255g/km£2,236£2,245

Why have I been fined for not paying road tax on my electric car? 

Although you don’t have to pay for road tax if you own an electric car, you still have to apply for it. If you fail to do so and ignore your renewal notice, you could receive a fine of up to £1,000.

To avoid being fined, follow the normal process when your renewal notice arrives, and you won’t have to pay anything at the end.

Vehicle tax reminder

Will I have to pay road tax on electric cars after 2035?

The government has banned new combustion engine vehicles from 2035. However, that doesn't necessarily mean new electric cars won't have to pay road tax. 

It's too early to predict the exact changes that might happen to the road tax system, but one thing remains clear: our roads will still require maintenance, and the funds for this upkeep will need to be sourced. That's why it's probable that road tax will continue to be a part of our lives even after the combustion engine vehicle ban is implemented.


Looking for affordable car repairs and maintenance? WhoCanFixMyCar can help you find the right garage at the right price.

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Written by Ellie

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Ellie is WhoCanFixMyCar’s Content Writer. She has a BA in English literature from Durham University, a master’s degree in creative writing, and three years of experience writing in the automotive industry. She currently drives a Suzuki Swift.

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