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Avoid paying road tax – legally

Avoid paying road tax – legally

Could you be exempt from road tax?

Every car owner dreams of not having to pay road tax, or vehicle excise duty (VED) to use its official name.

The good news is the dream is achievable. Depending on the sort of vehicle you drive, it’s possible to become completely exempt from road tax. Here’s how you can (legally!) avoid having to pay it.


Tax exempt vehicles

Road tax is largely worked out based on the amount of CO2 a vehicle emits and also the price of a vehicle when new.

The following are the main types of vehicles which are exempt from VED, as long as certain criteria are met:


  1. Zero emission vehicles, including electric cars

Any vehicle that doesn’t emit any carbon dioxide (CO2) is exempt from paying VED. This includes hydrogen powered vehicles.

For electrically powered vehicles, the electricity has to be provided by an external source which isn’t connected when the vehicle is moving.

But although a vehicle might have zero emissions, if it costs more than £40,000 the owner must pay a ‘premium’ tax of £310 for five years.


  1. Historic cars

‘Classic’ cars, as historic cars are commonly known, are exempt from VED as long as the vehicle was made before 1st January 1978. Even if you’re not sure when it was built, as long as the vehicle was registered before the 8th January 1978 it will be exempt.

Note that you still must apply to tax your vehicle, no matter when it was made or registered.


  1. Vehicles used by certain disabled individuals

Drivers with a registered disability may not have to pay VED, depending on their level of disability.

The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name and only driven by them or their nominated driver. It can only be used for the personal use of the disabled individual.

Popular cars which are tax exempt

If you’re keen on buying a car that’s road tax-free, here are the ten best to consider in 2018, according to the car experts at

  1. BMW i3
  2. Nissan Leaf
  3. Renault ZOE
  4. Hyundai Ioniq
  5. Volkswagen e-Golf
  6. Volkswagen e-up!
  7. Smart ForTwo electric
  8. Mercedes B 250 e
  9. Kia Soul EV
  10. Nissan e-NV200


Other vehicles exempt from road tax

If you fancy buying something a little different so that you don’t have to pay road tax, you might be in luck! Here are other vehicles that are exempt from VED:

Steam powered vehicles

Emergency services vehicles

Mobility scooters

Mowers only used for cutting grass

Invalid carriages

Powered wheelchairs with a top speed up to 8mph


Policy Expert

As a home insurance provider and broker, Policy Expert are here to provide help and assistance to our customers if they suffer a loss or damage to their property, and make sure any claims go smoothly. We ask any of our customers who have machines affected by the fault to follow the manufacturers recommended guidelines. You can contact one of our dedicated agents by calling 0330 0600 600 or email


Published 24th May 2018