Classic car owners could be left 'out of pocket' from emissions zones tax charges

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An increasing number of cities are implementing car tax charges in the form of Clean Air Zones (CAZ), with Birmingham, Bath and Portsmouth currently charging drivers travelling in and around the cities. London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is set to be expanded towards the end of October, with local councils attempting to lower emissions in their areas.

Charges vary for non-compliant vehicles in different cities.

Portsmouth Council charges £10 per day for non-compliant taxis and private hire vehicles with a £50 charge for non-compliant HGVs, buses and coaches.

Private cars are not charged in Bath, even if they are used for work, with HGVs and other large vehicles being charged £100.

Birmingham has a flat charge of £8 for cars, taxis and vans, with £50 for buses, coaches and HGVs.

READ MORE: ‘Wasted all our money’: Drivers angry over upcoming caravan law change

Car insurance expert, Alex Kindred, said: “Climate concerns are a top reason to consider reducing the length of time you keep hold of the same car.

“As emission-free electric vehicles become more popular and affordable and as drivers become more conscious of their carbon footprint, we will see more motorists making the switch from petrol pump to the electric plug. 

“As cars age, their emissions grow considerably which could also lead you to higher prices for things like Vehicle Tax, fees for entering Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and even charges on your MOT – to ensure your car continues to meet the minimum standards.

“Many newer cars qualify for free Vehicle Tax based on their lower emissions, yet for gas-guzzling cars, the price per year can reach up to £2,245 after the first year of ownership.

There are other exemptions that owners can apply for including Vehicle Excise Duty.

If a vehicle was manufactured more than 40 years before January 1 of that year, vehicles are automatically exempt from paying VED.

In addition to the saving on VED, since 2018, nearly all cars built more than 40 years ago are also exempt from the annual MOT roadworthiness test.

This is unless owners voluntarily want to have their vehicles checked.

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