The UK vehicle tax, known officially as the Vehicle Excise Duty, taxes drivers based on the engine size of the vehicle and its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Generally, the lower the emissions of a vehicle, the lower the tax.
The UK vehicle tax must be paid on most vehicles, whether the vehicle stays parked or gets driven. Enforcement of this tax falls under the responsibility of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Great Britain.
Regulations on this tax change occasionally, but as of 2015, each car or truck falls into a different car emission band. For example, a car falling into the Band E class is one whose emissions are between 131 and 140 g per kilometer. Taxes on this vehicle are 125 Great British Pounds (GBP), or about 191 United States Dollars (USD) per year. In contrast, a vehicle, whether driven regularly or parked, that has emissions of over 255 g per kilometer falls into the Band M category. Taxes for a Band M vehicle cost 490 GBP or around 790 USD per year to register.
Heavy goods vehicles (HGV) fall into their own tax bracket. Vehicles falling into the HGV tax A band are those weighing less than 7.5 tonnes and those weighing less than 44 tonnes fall into the HGV tax band G. Taxes vary for HGVs and range from 165 to 1,850 GBP each year. HGVs outfitted with reduced pollution equipment are taxed less than those vehicles without specialized equipment.
Older vehicles built before January 1974 are exempt from the vehicle tax in Great Britain. However, other vehicles such as tricycles and motorcycles are subject to the same tax as cars and trucks.