Road tax

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Road tax, known by various names around the world, is a tax which has to be paid on a motor vehicle before using it on a public road.

National implementations[edit]


All Australian states and territories require an annual vehicle registration fee to be paid in order to use a vehicle on public roads; the cost of which varies from state to state and is dependent on the type of vehicle. The fee is colloquially known as rego (pronounced with a soft g, short for registration).[1]


Passenger cars pay a registration fee based on the engine displacement and power output (degressive towards 2014 (66% in 2012, 33% in 2013, 0% in 2014) and environmental criteria such as CO2 g/km output (increasingly towards 2014). The more CO2 g/km the car produces, the higher the fee will be. ( Every year, the plate number owner has to pay the annual road tax contribution. This tax is based on the engine displacement (0-799cc = fiscal HP 4, above 800cc per 200cc 1 class higher) ( Due to CO2 based regulations, diesel cars with above average displacement (>2000cc) are favorised, and petrol cars with bigger displacements are put at a disadvantage). A supplementary annual fee has to be paid for cars that run on LPG/CNG (0-799cc: €84/year, 800-2499cc €148/year and >2500cc €208/year) to compensate financial loss for the state due to the absence of excise at the pump.


In Brazil, the states may collect an annual Vehicle Licensing Fee (Taxa de Licenciamento Veicular) which has a fixed value for each vehicle category determined by each state. In addition, each state may impose a Vehicle Property Tax (Imposto sobre a Propriedade de Veículos Automotores), with a rate up to 4%.[citation needed]


In France, the vignette was abolished for private vehicles in 2001 and was replaced by a tax on toll road operators[2] at a rate of €6.85 per 1000 km travelled. In addition a tax is levied on vehicles registered to companies. Since 2006 the tax is levied according to CO2 emissions ranging from 2 euros per gramme to 19 euros per gramme.


In Germany, the Motor Vehicle tax (Kraftfahrzeugsteuer) is an annual tax on all vehicles. It ranges from 5 eur per 100cc to 25 eur per 100cc for petrol engines and 13 eur to 37 eur for diesel engines.[3] Vehicles first registered before June 30, 2009 are taxed according to engine displacement and national/European emission class, whereas vehicles which were registered after that date are taxed solely based on CO2 emission in grams per km (g CO2/km).

Hong Kong[edit]

In Hong Kong, the license fee is according to the category (passenger cars, goods vehicles, taxis, etc.) of the vehicle first. Then, for passenger cars (known as private cars), it is calculated by the engine size. The lowest tax band is under 1500cc, then the tax band changes at 2500cc, 3500cc and 4500cc. Due to this system of license fee, most of 1600cc to 1800cc car models cannot sell well. Most people prefer 1500cc for compact cars. Due to this reason, some manufacturers provide only the 1500cc version of their compact cars to Hong Kong market such as Toyota Corolla and Nissan Tiida. Both of these two cars only have 1500cc version available.

By engine volume (HKD) ≤ 1500 cm3 3,929 1501 cm3- 2500 cm3 5,794 2501 cm3- 3500 cm3 7,664 3501 cm3- 4500 cm3 9,534 >4500 cm3 11,329


In Hungary, since 2009 this tax is based on the vehicle's engine performance and the vehicle's age. Before this so-called performance tax, this tax was based on the vehicle's weight and unofficially it was called a weight tax.[citation needed]


In India, road tax is imposed by both the central (customs duty,Central excise, and central sales tax), state government (motor vehicles tax, passengers and goods tax, state VAT, and toll taxes) and local bodies (octroi). At the time of purchase of the vehicle, the central excise duty, central sales tax and state VAT are levied at the rates of 10%,3%, 2% and 12.5% respectively. The motor vehicles tax is calculated on the basis of various factors including engine capacity, seating capacity, unladen weight and cost price.It is also priced in the type of vehicle used such as trucks,vans, cars,two wheelers etc. for toll roads.[4] In India andhrapradesh road tax is 25% on vehicle cost


Motor tax is payable as an annual duty (subject to exemptions) in Ireland. Prior to 2008 the annual tax was levied on the engine size ranging from €199 pa for an engine under 1,000cc to €1,809 for cars with an engine over 3,001 cc. Since July 2008, the tax rates for new private cars are based on the vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions. The tax bands for CO2 emissions range from €170 pa with emissions of 0-80 g to €2,350 pa with emissions over 225g. Commercial vehicles including 5 seater large 4WD vehicles no matter what size engine or co2 is €333 the highest rate is €2345 for passenger vehicles. All Vintage vehicles are €56. An Irish vehicle is known as vintage when it reaches 30 years old.


A tax is collected under the Local Tax Act of 1950 that is paid every May based on the engine's displacement. The tax is then determined by whether the vehicle is for business or personal use, based on exterior dimensions and engine displacement as defined under dimension regulations. The tax to be paid is then based on the engine's displacement starting with engines below 1000cc, and increasing at 500cc intervals to a top bracket of 6000cc and above.[5][6][7] Personal vehicles pay more than vehicles identified as business use. Kei cars (Japanese vehicles with 660cc engines and reduced exterior dimensions) have significant tax merit because its tax is about quarter of 1000cc car. The legislation is similar to a European approach to taxing engine horsepower, while the Japanese approach taxes engine displacement. If the car has been certified as a low emissions vehicle, under the Japanese Governments Low-emission vehicle certification system (Japanese), the tax obligation is reduced.

Automobile Tax (exterior dimensions)[edit]

  • Road Tax for regular 4-wheel vehicles (Metropolitan/Prefectural Tax) Vehicle plates and taxes
    • 40/400 and 50/500 Japan license plates: ¥7,500
    • 33/300 license plates (4.5 liter engines and below): ¥19,000
    • 33/300 license plates (4.6 liter engines and above): ¥22,000
    • 11/100 license plates: ¥32,000
  • Light Motor Vehicle Tax
    • Road Tax for mini-cars and motorcycles (City/Ward Tax)
    • Kei car: ¥3,000
    • Motorcycles up to 125cc: ¥500
    • Motorcycles 126cc and above: ¥1,000

Automobile Weight Tax[edit]

On May 31, 1971 until March 31 2010, the Japanese government passed a law creating the Automobile Weight Tax (Japanese). It was modified March 31 2010, and again April 1 2010 where the amount to be paid was modified again. The tax is paid every year in conjunction with the engine displacement based road tax. The weight determination is made in metric tons. The tax increments are found from the original Japanese language article here.

Passenger cars (except the "kei" cars and motorcycles)

¥2,500 yen /0.5 tons (per vehicle weight) per year

Other passenger cars (freight vehicles such as trucks and buses)

¥2,500 yen / 1 tons (per gross vehicle weight) per year

"kei" car

¥2,500 per year

Two-wheeled motor vehicles

¥1,500 per year

As of April 1 2010, the tax requirements are as follows. The determination of whether the vehicle is for business or personal use has been added, similar to the engine displacement regulations:

Passenger car

Private vehicle weight 0.5 tons per ¥5,000 per year Business vehicle weight 0.5 tons per ¥2,700 per year

Private truck

Gross vehicle weight 1 tons to ¥3,800 yen per year Gross vehicle weight 2 tons up to ¥7,600 yen per year Gross vehicle weight 2.5 t to ¥11,400 per year ¥15,000 / year up to a gross vehicle weight 3 tons Later ¥5,000 added for each one tons

Cargo automotive business

Gross vehicle weight 1 tons per ¥2,700 per year

Vans vehicles (bus) and special-purpose motor vehicles

Private gross vehicle weight 1 tons per ¥5,000 per year Vehicle for business use total weight 1 tons per ¥2,700 per year

"Kei" car (inspected)

Private ¥3,800 yen per year, ¥2,700 per year for business use

Two-wheeled "kei" car (one-time new car hour notification)

Private ¥5,500 yen, ¥4,300 yen for business use

Inspected outside "kei" car other than the two-wheel (one-time new car hour notification)

Private ¥ 11,300, ¥8,100 yen for business use

Small two-wheeled motor vehicles

Private ¥2,200 yen per year, ¥1,600 per year for business use

  • From March 31, 2010 until April 1 2010
Passenger car

Private vehicle weight 0.5 tons per ¥ 6,300 per year Business vehicle weight 0.5 tons per ¥ 2,800 per year

Private truck

¥ 4,400 per year up to a gross vehicle weight 1 tons Gross vehicle weight 2 tons up to 8800 yen per year Gross vehicle weight 2.5 tons to ¥13,200 per year Gross vehicle weight 3 tons to ¥18,900 per year Later ¥6,300 added for each one tons

Cargo automotive business use

Gross vehicle weight 1 tons per ¥2,800 per year

Vans vehicles (bus) and special-purpose motor vehicles

Private gross vehicle weight 1 tons per ¥6,300 per year Vehicle for business total weight 1 tons per ¥2,800 per year

"Kei" car (inspected)

Private ¥4,400 per year, ¥ 2,800 per year for business use

Two-wheeled light car (one-time new car hour notification)

Private ¥6,300, ¥4,500 for business use

Inspected outside light car other than the two-wheel (one-time new car hour notification)

Private ¥13,200, ¥8,400 for business use

Small two-wheeled motor vehicles

Private ¥2,500 per year, ¥1,700 per year for business use

Road Tax increments[edit]

The following is the tax rates for passenger vehicles used for both personal and business use, incremented by 500cc engine displacement[8]

Total Displacement Personal Use Business Use
under 1 liter ¥29,500 ¥7,500
1 liter - under 1.5 liters ¥34,500 ¥8,500
1.5 liters - under 2.0 liters ¥39,500 ¥9,500
2.0 liters - under 2.5 liters ¥45,000 ¥13,800
2.5 liters - under 3.0 liters ¥51,000 ¥15,700
3.0 liters - under 3.5 liters ¥58,000 ¥17,900
3.5 liters - under 4.0 liters ¥66,500 ¥20,500
4.0 liters - under 4.5 liters ¥76,500 ¥23,600
4.5 liters -under 6.0 liters ¥88,000 ¥27,200
over 6 liters ¥111,000 ¥40,700

The following table is the tax bracket for trucks, or vehicles built with a load carrying section without seats and a single bench seat in the front of the vehicle in an enclosed passenger compartment.

Load capacity Personal Use Business Use
under 1 metric ton ¥8,000 ¥6,500
1 ton - under 2 tons ¥11,500 ¥9,500
2 tons - under 3 tons ¥16,000 ¥12,000
3 tons - under 4 tons ¥20,500 ¥15,000
4 tons - under 5 tons ¥25,500 ¥18,500
5 tons - under 6 tons ¥30,000 ¥22,000
6 tons - under 7 tons ¥35,000 ¥25,500
7 tons - under 8 tons ¥40,500 ¥29,500
over 8 tons ¥40,500 + ¥6,300 for each additional ton ¥29,500 + ¥4,700 for each additional ton

The following table is the tax bracket for buses, or vehicles designed to carry many passengers.

Load capacity Personal Use Business Use
30 or less ¥33,000 ¥12,000
under 40 ¥41,000 ¥14,500
under 50 ¥49,000 ¥17,500
under 60 ¥57,000 ¥20,000
under 70 ¥65,500 ¥22,500
under 80 ¥74,000 ¥25,500
80 and over ¥83,000 ¥29,000


The vehicle operating tax on cars first registered after January 1, 2005 that have registration certificates with information on total weight, engine volume and engine maximum power, shall be paid by summing up tax rates according to total weight, engine volume and engine maximum power of the car as follows: By total weight (EUR) ≤1500 kg 14,23 1501 kg - 1800 kg 29,88 1801 kg - 2100 kg 51,22 2101 kg - 2600 kg 65,45 2601 kg - 3000 kg 78,26 3001 kg - 3500 kg 91,06 > 3500 kg 102,45

By engine volume (EUR) ≤ 1500 cm3 8,54 1501 cm3- 2000 cm3 21,34 2001 cm3- 2500 cm3 34,15 2501 cm3- 3000 cm3 51,22 3001 cm3- 3500 cm3 85,37 3501 cm3- 4000 cm3 149,40 4001 cm3-5000 cm3 213,43 >5000 cm3 277,46

By engine max. power (EUR) ≤ 55 kW 8,54 56 kW - 92 kW 21,34 93 kW - 129 kW 34,15 130 kW - 166 kW 51,22 167 kW - 203 kW 85,37 204 kW - 240 kW 149,40 241 kW - 300 kW 213,43 > 300 kW 277,46


An annual tax is applied to your vehicle. In 2013, the annual tax is e.g. EUR 224 for a BMW 330D 2004 model.


Till 2011, the federal government charged an annual Vehicle Tax named TENENCIA, depending on the value and other vehicle characteristics. Although the tax was federal, the States where charging the tax. This tax was created in 1961 and in 2006 represented about 1.6% of the total tax income (around 13 billion pesos).[9] In 2012, the Vehicle Tax became a State matter with some States charging the tax, others charging a partial tax (mostly on cars above certain value) and others such as Morelos and Querétaro, charging no tax.


In the Netherlands, a tax is applied to your vehicle based on its weight and fuel type, and the province. Cars producing less than 88 g/km CO2 and classic cars over 40 years old are exempt from road tax.


In Norway, a registration fee is applied to all new motor vehicles when sold new. The fee is calculated by several variables such as vehicle classification, emissions (CO2 and NOx), vehicle weight and engine power and generally rewards vehicles with smaller engines, low emissions and low weight. This fee can be in the hundreds of thousands Norwegian kroner.[citation needed] In addition, there is an annual road tax applied to motor vehicles, failure of payment will generally lead to license plates being withdrawn. The road tax varies by vehicle classification, as of 2013 for ordinary passenger cars (less than 7 500 kg) it is 2940 Norwegian kroner (with a slightly higher amount, 3425, for diesel cars without DPF - diesel particulate filter).


In Spain two taxes apply to motor vehicles:

a) The Registration tax (impuesto de matriculacion) applies at purchase time to the purchase price. It is a national tax and the rate varies from 0% to 14.75% depending on C02 emissions. In some cases regions may fix their own rates.
b) The Mechanical vehicle circulation tax (Impuesto sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica or IVTM)is an annual tax. The tax is a municipal tax whose rate varies widely across the country. The tax is calculated according to the Tax horsepower of the vehicle. In Madrid and Barcelona the rates for 2011 ranges from 22 euros for up to 8 HP to 224 euros for vehicles with over 20 HP.[10][11]

United Kingdom[edit]

Main article: Vehicle Excise Duty

In the United Kingdom it is a requirement to pay Vehicle Excise Duty, which is paid to the government for a vehicle licence.[12] Up until October 2014 vehicle licences, in the form of a paper disc, were required to be displayed on vehicles. Since October 2014 licence details are stored centrally on a database.[13] Vehicles that are not used or kept on public roads must be the subject of a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) if they are not licensed.[14]

In 1937 the direct relationship that existed between the tax and government expenditure on public roads was cut, the proceeds being treated as general taxation.[15]

In the 2015 budget the government announced that from 2020 the revenue would be ring-fenced for expenditure on the strategic road network.[16]

United States[edit]

Each state requires an annual registration fee which varies from state to state.[17]

Additionally, in some states, counties and/or municipalities are allowed to also impose a vehicle tax. For example, in Illinois, certain counties tax vehicles that are registered in unincorporated areas, and a number of municipalities have their own annual vehicle registration fee. In Massachusetts, the excise tax is billed separately from registration fees, by the town or city in which the vehicle is registered, and was set at a fixed rate of 2.5% statewide by a 1980 law called Proposition 2½. Within some states, the fees may vary from county to county, as some counties have surcharges per vehicle. An example of this is Virginia's personal property tax. The state of New York, on the other hand, charges a tax based on the vehicle's weight, rather than on its value, which is charged at the time of registration renewal.[citation needed]

In California and New Hampshire, the registration tax is calculated by the current value of the vehicle. As a result, older and more inexpensive vehicles will have a low registration fee, whereas newer and more expensive vehicles will have fees in the hundreds of dollars.

There is also a Federal Highway Use tax for vehicles with gross weights of 55,000 pounds or more, including trucks, truck tractors and buses. Generally, vans, pickup trucks, panel trucks and the like are not subject to this tax. The tax does not apply to vehicles that are used for 5,000 miles or less (7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles) on public highways during a tax period.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vehicle Registration costs". BritinOz. All vehicles need to be registered annually, in the same way as British vehicles have to pay for Road Fund Licence. Here it is called registration or REGO. 
  2. ^ "Road Tax, Road Tolls and Fees in France | CFE portal". Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  3. ^ "tax rates for diesel engines (in german)". Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  4. ^ "Road user taxes in India-Issues in tax policy and governance" (PDF). Planning Commission (India). Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  5. ^ Japan Road Tax amounts 2014
  6. ^ Japan Road Tax amounts 2013
  7. ^ Japan road tax amounts document
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "żQué es la tenencia vehicular? - El Universal Online - México". Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  10. ^ "Barcelona vehicle tax (in catalan)" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  11. ^ "Madrid vehicle tax (in spanish)" (in Spanish). 1999-01-26. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  12. ^ "The cost of vehicle tax". DirectGov. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  13. ^ "Vehicle tax changes". Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  14. ^ "How to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification)". Direct Gov. Retrieved 2010-04-29. If you’re the registered keeper of a vehicle that’s not being taxed and is kept off the road you must make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). 
  15. ^ Harrabin, Roger (15 August 2013). "The BBC explains "Road Tax"". Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  16. ^ C.R. (8 July 2015). "The five key questions answered". The Economist (London). 
  17. ^ "registration, road tax and safety in the US". Just Landed. Retrieved 2010-03-30. Registration fees are usually paid annually