Top 10: Cars that benefit from the 2017 VED system

The VED system changed on 1 April 2017 and, for many, it makes driving more expensive. The majority of car buyers have to pay £140 a year, regardless of how eco-friendly their cars are, plus a first year rate calculated on CO2 emissions. Owners of cars with a list price of £40,000 or more will also pay an additional surcharge of £310 for five years and zero emissions vehicles still qualify for free VED.

Effectively this means almost every car bought from 2017 onwards will cost more to tax – but there are a select few vehicles that will be cheaper to run under the new rules. Perhaps alarmingly, they are all high-emission vehicles that are anything but eco-friendly. We’ve listed 10 cars that win under the new rules.

1

Ford Mustang 5.0 V8

Price: £35,745

2016 VED: £1120 first year, £515 annually, £3180 over five years

2017 VED: £2000 first year, £140 annually, £2560 over five years

A performance bargain, the Mustang has a proper V8 muscle car engine with more than 400PS. It’s also a stunning looker and costs just £35,745. We say ‘just’ like that much money is pocket change – but compared to other cars with similar performance and road presence the Mustang is a bit of a bargain.

The new tax rules are very kind to it too. Its V8 engine isn’t eco-friendly, so under the emissions-based system the annual VED bill is £515; however from April 2017, when the annual rate is based on list price, you'll save £620 over five years. This means the Mustang will cost the same to tax as a Ford Fiesta (after year one). Does that make sense? Probably not. But Ford will be pleased. 

Read our review of the Ford Mustang

List Price from £37,645
Buy new from £33,700
Contract hire from £512.27 per month
2

Jeep Wrangler 2.8 CRD

Price: £33,510

2016 VED: £885 first year, £500 annually, £2885 over five years

2017 VED: £1700 first year, £140 annually, £2260 over five years

Want a 4x4 with a dose of Americana and truck-like CO2 emissions? The Jeep Wrangler could be the car for you. It's good off road, practical and hugely polluting. Admittedly, it's not that great to drive on the road, but the 2.8 CRD diesel is strong on performance.

Under the new VED rules the Wrangler 2.8 CRD costs £625 less to tax over five years, despite the fact it emits a whopping 235g/km of CO2. To be fair, those savings will probably be eaten up in fuel costs - the Wrangler returns an official 31.4mpg - but it is still a good example of how the new tax rules will help some of the UK's most polluting cars. 

Read our review of the Jeep Wrangler

List Price from £39,955
Buy new from £36,523
Contract hire from £466.85 per month
3

Vauxhall Insignia VXR

Price: £29,804

2016 VED: £885 first year, £500 annually, £2885 over five years

2017 VED: £1700 first year, £140 annually, £2260 over five years

Like the Mustang, the Insignia VXR is a fast, old-school performance car. Buying one of these after April 2017 will save you £625 in tax over five years. Again, this car fits into a niche category – it’s a high-performance car with emissions figures to match – yet it is priced at below £40,000, so there is no premium car tax to pay.

Still – it is going to cost £2885 to tax over five years, which isn’t exactly a bargain in the grand scheme of things, but it does benefit from the new VED system, despite the fact its turbocharged 2.8 V6 engine produces 244g/km of CO2. 

Read our review of the Vauxhall Insignia

List Price from £19,335
Buy new from £17,359
Contract hire from £233.45 per month
4

Nissan 370Z 3.7 V6

Price: £28,370

2016 VED: £885 first year, £500 annually, £2885 over five years

2017 VED: £1700 first year, £140 annually, £2260 over five years

The 370Z is powered by a big, naturally aspirated engine in the front sending power to the rear wheels. It’s fun, in a silly kind of way – but the 328PS version of the V6 petrol is also expensive to tax and expensive to keep fuelled.

From April 2017 the running costs will dip in the 370Z’s favour with a saving of £625 over five years. The savings will increase if you keep it for longer, with annual tax of just £140 per year. That’s roughly the same as what Vauxhall Corsa owners will pay. 

Read our review of the Nissan 370Z

List Price from £29,995
Buy new from £24,991
Contract hire from £342.74 per month
5

Subaru WRX

Price: £31,180

2016 VED: £885 first year, £500 annually, £2885 over five years

2017 VED: £1700 first year, £140 annually, £2260 over five years

Another sports car that will soon cost £140 a year to tax is the Subaru WRX STI. It might be a relic of the 1990s, when bargain performance cars had their roots in rallying, but it’s still a lot of fun. What’s more, from April 2017, it’ll cost less to tax too.

Under the emission-based VED rules, the WRX STI – which emits 242g/km of CO2- costs £500 a year to tax, but that will change to £140 from 2017. That means, over four years you’ll save £625, with the annual savings increasing each year you own the car. Admittedly, that extra money will be swallowed up by fuel, but every little counts, eh? 

Read our review of the Subaru WRX

List Price from £32,110
Buy new from £30,691
Contract hire from £444.88 per month
6

Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 DI-DC

£29,634

2016 VED: £885 first year, £500 annually, £2885 over five years

2017 VED: £1700 first year, £140 annually, £2260 over five years

Aimed at those who spend their weekends towing horseboxes and off-roading, the Mitsubishi Shogun is powered by a strong 3.2-litre diesel engine with 140PS and 441Nm of torque. On the downside, its engine isn’t the cleanest, with CO2 emissions of 238g/km, but from April 2017 that won’t matter.

It might not be the best 4x4 to drive on the road, but with prices starting from under £30,000 it represents good value. From 2017 it will still have a steep first year tax rate - £1700 - but after that, thanks to its list price, it’ll be £140 a year.

Read our review of the Mitsubishi Shogun

7

Infiniti QX50 GT 3.7 GT 

2016 VED: £1120 first year, £515 annually, £3180 over five years

2017 VED: £2000 first year, £140 annually, £2560 over five years

The QX50 is a bit of an odd car. Infiniti can’t quite seem to get the recipe right when it comes to prestigious vehicles – largely because they are pitched as company cars, which are usually bought by accountants who want low emissions.

Powered by a petrol 320PS engine QX50 3.7 is far from a low emission vehicle. It does, however, work out cheaper to run under the new rules thanks to its combination of sub-£40,000 list price and its tax bracket. 

Read our review of the Infiniti QX50

8

Jeep Cherokee 3.2 V6 Trailhawk Auto

Price: £31,570

2016 VED: £650 first year, £295 annually, £1830 over five years

2017 VED: £1200 first year, £140 annually, £1760 over five years

With savings of £70, over five years, the V6 petrol Jeep Cherokee is perhaps not the best SUV for tax savings. However, with CO2 emissions over 200g/km of CO2, it's another example of a polluting car that will face the same annual tax bill as a small three-cylinder hatchback.

The Cherokee does have lots going in its favour though, despite its lack of eco-credentials. It’s comfortable, well-equipped as standard and distinctive in its styling. Not everyone will be taken by the design, we admit, but it stands out from the otherwise bland SUV crowd. 

Read our review of the Jeep Cherokee

List Price from £26,510
Buy new from £24,845
9

Hyundai i800 2.5 CRDi Auto

£26,690

2016 VED: £650 first year, £295 annually, £1830 over five years

2017 VED: £1200 first year, £140 annually, £1760 over five years

Like many of the cars in this list, the Hyundai i800 is a bit of a dinosaur. It’s big and quite old. Launched back in 2008, the i800 is based on the iLoad panel van and its 2.5 diesel engine is one of the most polluting in its class, emitting 225g/km of CO2.

However, under the new rules, Hyundai's big eight-seater will cost £140 a year to tax, which significantly lowers its running costs over the long term. It also gets a five-year warranty as standard, which again makes the i800 an attractive car for long term ownership.

Read our review of the Hyundai i800

10

SsangYong Turismo ELX Auto

£25,250

2016 VED: £650 first year, £295 annually, £1830 over five years

2017 VED: £1200 first year, £140 annually, £1760 over five years

Another people carrier that will benefit from the VED changes is the four-wheel drive SsangYong Turismo ELX Auto. The six-seater emits 205g/km of CO2, but will lose its £500 annual tax rate in 2017 and cost just £140 to tax a year.

Obviously, the new rules only apply to Turismos bought after April 2017, but it represents a useful £70 saving over five years. 

Read our review of the SsangYong Turismo

List Price from £19,320
Buy new from £18,320
Contract hire from £331.92 per month