Top 20: Cars hit hardest by the 2017 VED changes

The announcement that Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is to change fundamentally from April 1st 2017 was one of the genuine shocks of the 2015 budget. Here are 20 cars you should think very carefully about before buying – these are 2017’s biggest VED losers. We’ve looked at the cost over a six-year period because the £310 'premium' supplement for cars over £40,000 applies for the first five years that the standard rate is payable, after the separate first year charge.

How much is my road tax?

1

Land Rover Discovery SDV6 SE (£41,600)

CO2: 203g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £2090

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £3450

Penalty: £1360

The Land Rover Discovery is an extremely good do-it-all 4x4, at once a proper off roader and a luxurious family car. But it’s getting on a little now, and its engines are increasingly looking dirty, which means that even a base model SDV6 will cost a whopping £3450 in tax over six years from 2017. 

2

Audi RS6 (£78,790)

CO2: 223g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £2090

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £3450

Penalty: £1360

The Audi RS6 is a good example of the sort of car you’d expect to get hammered by the taxman, and sure enough it has been – though not by as much as some far more environmentally sound models, strangely.

The RS6 has catapulted from £2090 in six-year tax today, to a whopping £3450 over the same period from 2017, including a £1200 up front VED payment.  

3

Tesla Model S 70 kWh D (£59,935)

CO2: 0g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £0

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £1550

Penalty: £1550

With the unique status of being an all-electric car with a £40,000-plus list price across the range, any Tesla Model S will cost nothing in first year VED, but thereafter be subject to the £310 annual premium surcharge. That’s all a Tesla buyer will pay, because as a zero emissions car, its standard rate is £0. Every other car, from 1g/km upwards, has a £140 standard rate. 

4

Jaguar F-Type 3.0 V6 340 Supercharged (£53,055)

CO2: 199g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £1815

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £3450

Penalty: £1635

Oddities in new taxation systems are inevitable, and a VED one can be seen by comparing this Jaguar F-Type Supercharged with, say, a Ferrari 488 GTB. The combination of 199g/km and a post-£40,000 list price makes the Jag a six-year tax nightmare come 2017, commanding £3450 – £1635 higher than today’s charge.

The £185,000, 260g/km Ferrari 488, on the other hand, will cost £3,625 over six-years if bought today, and £4,250 from 2017 – a £625 jump. So, the person in the small British sports car is penalised by almost three times as much as the person in the Italian supercar. Strange. 

5

BMW 530d SE Auto (£47,790)

CO2: 134g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £780

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2450

Penalty: £1670

The tax implication of buying a 134g/km 530d SE Auto after April 2017 will be very worrying for BMW – its six-cylinder diesel executive car is the class leader, and very popular. It’s the same story for the ActiveHybrid 5 version, which will jump to the same tax level in 2017, from £810 today.

Compare that to a 525d SE, which performs almost as well as a 530d but, crucially, falls below the £40,000 premium, so from 2017 will cost just £860 in VED over six years. 

6

BMW 420d M Sport Convertible (£40,380)

CO2: 137g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £780

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2450

Penalty: £1670

Buy a 420d Convertible in Luxury specification and, because it slips below the £40,000 threshold, you’ll pay just £900 over six years from April 2017.

So you’ll have to be bang into those M badges and big wheels to justify paying £2450 over the same period for an M Sport version. All of a sudden, your drop top has officially become ‘premium’. 

7

Lexus LS 600h L Premier Rear Seat Relaxation (£99,995)

CO2: 199g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £1755

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £3450

Penalty: £1695

Let’s skip past the very bizarre official trim name of this big Lexus hybrid limo, and instead focus on a blow for hybrid technology with the new budget. In fairness, it’s not hybrid technology per se that’s being punished – it’s the 199g/km emissions alone that cause the £1695 penalty – but if Lexus was to slot a lower-emitting diesel into the LS, it would save buyers an awful lot in tax. And fuel, for that matter. 

8

BMW 3 Series ActiveHybrid 3 SE (£41,385)

CO2: 139g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £720

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2450

Penalty: £1730

BMW’s petrol-electric car will seem an even more pointless extravagance come 2017. Anyone musing upon the prospect of a new 3 Series will be able to choose between the brilliant £30,000 320d ED, at £840 in tax over six years, and the not as good £41,000 ActiveHybrid, at £2450 in tax. You win again, diesel. 

9

Volkswagen XL1 (£98,515)

CO2: 21g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £0

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2260

Penalty: £2260

Most folk see the Volkswagen XL1 for what it is: a ludicrous but delicious taste of progress. Technically it shouldn’t be on this list, because all 30 destined for the UK have already been sold, so 2017 tax changes won’t be a problem for anyone.

Still, the point is that this car puffs out a miniscule 21g/km of CO2 thanks to the very best that Volkswagen’s engineers have to offer, yet the Government now considers it an ecological criminal to the tune of £450 per year. Today’s Hummer driver isn’t paying anywhere near that much VED.  

10

Audi A7 3.0 TDI Ultra S tronic S line (£48,705)

CO2: 128g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £550

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2410

Penalty: £1860

That Audi can make a car as grand, quick and refined as the A7 3.0 TDI emit just 128g/km is very impressive indeed, but unfortunately its relatively low VED implication today will catapult after April 2017.

That seems slightly unfair, though spare a thought for those looking into buying an RS7 in 2017, which will cost £1,200 in first year VED, as opposed to the Ultra’s £160. You’re probably not sparing a thought, are you.

11

Infiniti Q50 Sport Tech 2.2d (£40,170)

CO2: 128g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £550

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2410

Penalty: £1860

We’d be amazed if, before 2017, Infiniti didn’t drop the price of the Q50 Sport Tech 2.2d by the £171 it would require to save a buyer £1550 in VED over six-years – it would cost just £860 over six-years were its list price £39,999. As it is, a car that’s already relatively difficult to justify becomes nigh on impossible, with almost two grand extra slapped onto its six-year running costs. 

12

Lexus NX 300h Premier Auto (£42,995)

CO2: 121g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £500

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2410

Penalty: £1910

Lexus persists with hybrid technology, but alas its premium prices mean that higher-specified versions of cars like the NX – its latest SUV – will look considerably less alluring come 2017. It’s astounding that a car as relatively low emitting as the 121g/km NX 4x4 will command a £1910 additional tax penalty in a couple of years’ time. 

13

Volvo V60 D6 Twin Engine SE Lux Nav (£45,175)

CO2: 48g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £0

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2260

Penalty: £2260

Volvo’s Twin Engine setup is a diesel-electric hybrid that offers exceptional fuel economy and high-performance pace – the V60 cracks 62mph in six seconds flat.

However, the 2017 CO2 bands put it in the ‘premium’ category, so although its first year VED payment is just £10, thereafter owners will have to swallow £450 per year. 

14

BMW i8 (£104,540)

CO2: 49g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £0

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2260

Penalty: £2260

Much like the Volkswagen XL1, the BMW i8 is a flight of technological fancy that only the privileged few can afford. That said, its drivetrain is a marvel of CO2-lowering goodness, and it perhaps feels right that the i8 owner, whose supercar is emitting less CO2 than virtually anything else on sale, should enjoy a small tax-free treat for not buying something with a V10 instead.

Nope, the Government now thinks that the 134mpg BMW i8 is worthy of £450 per year in punitive damages. Some might say that the i8 owner can afford it. Others will cry that’s missing the point. 

15

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (£89,327)

CO2: 71g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £0

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2275

Penalty: £2275

Here’s a scenario for you. A man goes into a Porsche dealership on 31st March 2017 and buys a Porsche Panamera Diesel. It costs £65,000, emits 169g/km CO2 and will over the following six years of ownership cost him £1320 in VED. He’s fairly happy with that.

The next day, the man’s friend walks into the same dealership and, in a fit of eco-based one-upmanship, buys a Panamera S E-Hybrid, which emits less than half the CO2. The salesman explains that under the new VED laws, it will cost him £955 more in tax over the same six-year period that his mate’s new diesel. The man gets the hump and buys a Nissan Leaf instead. 

16

Lexus GS300h F Sport (£41,745)

CO2: 115g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £100

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2410

Penalty: £2310

The GS is another car that will prove an extremely difficult sell for Lexus dealers in the upper echelons of the range, because better-equipped versions pass the £40,000 threshold, after which the £310 yearly surcharge applies.

So, the GS300h F Sport you buy today costs a mere £100 in six-year VED, comprising nothing in the first year and £20 thereafter. By 2017, that leaps to a staggering £2410 because, you know, it deserves nothing less, the eco-terrorising scoundrel.

17

Mercedes-Benz S300h L AMG Line (£73,375)

CO2: 120g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £100

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2410

Penalty: £2310

The diesel-electric Mercedes-Benz limousine is one of the most refined applications of hybrid technology anywhere – especially impressive considering the fuel is diesel. Arguably the tax implication beyond April 2017 won’t be too big a deal for long-wheelbase S-Class buyers, but £2310 is still one hefty extra charge for a luxury car that, let’s face it, is almost miraculously CO2 efficient. 

18

Mercedes-Benz E-Class BlueTEC Hybrid SE (£40,480)

CO2: 107g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £50

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2390

Penalty: £2340

The E-Class Hybrid is the perfect storm of low emissions and high list price, because its 107g/km CO2 rating puts it in the £10 tax bracket today, but the 2017 ratings system makes it a mid-level eco criminal, while its £40,000-plus price qualifies it for £450 annual in VED. It will take a lot of dedication to hybrid technology to buy one of these over a diesel E-Class. A lot. 

19

Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid (£62,099)

CO2: 79g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £0

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2350

Penalty: £2350

The Cayenne S Hybrid is a phenomenal machine, with an extremely efficient and quick drivetrain propelling a massive lump of SUV that’s more dynamic than it has any right to be. Its tax-free status was the walnut on the whip.

From April 1st 2017, unfortunately, it will no longer be able to claim eco-friendly tax status, instead saddled with a whopping great £450 annual VED bill. Get back with the gas-guzzlers, you dirty 4x4. 

20

Mercedes-Benz C300 BlueTec Hybrid AMG Auto Premium (£41,330)

CO2: 99g/km

Six-year VED total at 2015 rate: £0

Six-year VED total at 2017 rate: £2370

Penalty: £2370

The final part in the Mercedes-Benz hybrid horror trilogy, the C300 Hybrid is the only one that slips below today’s VED-free threshold, and therefore will command the biggest penalty come 2017. Already a very expensive C-Class with this drivetrain, in a couple of years’ time it will become almost pointless.