Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
For cars registered on or after March 1, 2001, the tax is known as graduated vehicle excise duty (GVED) and is based on the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. For the tax year 2004 – 2005 this varied between £55 and £165. GVED was announced in the March 1998 Budget to offer a small incentive to purchase vehicles with low emission levels.
Rates for other vehicles vary between £15.00 for motorcycles with an engine capacity under 150cc, to a maximum of £1,850 for the largest heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Owners of vehicles paying the tax are issued with a tax disc to be displayed on the vehicle. In the tax year 2002 – 2003, it is estimated that evasion of the tax equated to a loss to the exchequer of £206 million. In an attempt to reduce this, from 2004 an automatic £80 penalty (halved if paid within 28 days) is issued by the DVLA computer for failure to pay the tax within one month of the expiry of the previous tax disc. A maximum fine of £1,000 applies for failure to pay the tax, though in practice fines are normally much lower.
Any vehicle used or kept on the public road at any time during the tax period is liable. In other cases, a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) is made by the registered owner, which indicates precisely where the vehicle is to be kept.
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This glossary post was last updated: 22nd March, 2020