Charges you may face as a car owner

Car Dealer

Head to a dealership with the intent of getting your hands on a new car and you will likely be thinking about purchasing a vehicle which looks great. While you won’t want a set of wheels that catches the eyes for all the wrong reasons, you’ll also be wise to consider the many charges that you may face as a car owner to ensure you make a well-informed decision that doesn’t see you spending a fortune every time you go from A to B.

We are all aware of the well-known charges when behind the wheel, like fuel costs and the price of car insurance but there are also a few of the lesser known charges that Skoda Fabia dealers, Lookers, will explore further in this article…

Car tax

Otherwise known as road tax, you could be hit hard when it comes to the amount of car tax you have to pay depending on the vehicle you select. You’ll pay a higher rate depending on your vehicle’s CO2 emissions. If your mobile doesn’t meet the Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standard for nitrogen oxide emissions, then you’ll pay a higher rate for your diesel car.

Car tax is separated into four distinct bands, these being:

  • Classic Car Road Tax (vehicles over 40 years old)
  • Cars registered before 2001
  • Cars registered between 2001 and 2017
  • Cars registered after April 2017

Older vehicles may at first seem appealing for their cheaper price tags. However, their tax costs can be significantly higher, so it’s certainly worth checking before you make your purchase.

Congestion charges*

Numerous city centres that are known to have heavy traffic on a daily basis will apply congestion charges. In London, the Congestion Charge is £11.50 per day if you aren’t registered with Auto Pay. This cost is in play between 07:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday.  When you add in the ULEZ charge, this can be quite costly!

There’s a road user charge zone in place across Durham too. This was the first of its kind in the UK and, although it’s not quite as extreme as its London equivalent, road users in the North East city must pay £2 if they are travelling in certain zones between 10:00 and 16:00 Monday to Saturday. It’s important to pay this as failure to do so by 18:00 on the day you use the road may result in a £50 penalty charge notice.

Congestion charges were also proposed within Edinburgh and Manchester. However, the public has so far rejected the implementation of such measures.

Toll roads*

Toll roads won’t apply to all drivers, with Blue Badge holders exempt for paying the charges associated with many of them. Still though, it’s important to be aware of toll roads before you start your journey. Here is a list of the UK’s toll roads and bridges and how much they cost (all costs depend on your choice of vehicle):

  • M6: £2 – £11.50
  • Dartford Crossing: Free – £6
  • Severn Bridges M4 and M4 Westbound: £5.60 – £16.70
  • Bridges and tunnels on A roads: Free – £8
  • Mersey Tunnels – Queensway and Kingsway: £1 – £7.20
  • Humber Bridge: Free – £12
  • Tyne Tunnels: Free – £3.40
  • Tamar Bridge: Free – £16.40
  • Dunham Bridge: Free – £1
  • Cleddau Bridge: 35p – £1.50
  • Itchen Bridge: Free – £25

Some minor roads may also have areas where they will be a charge that must be paid before someone is able to drive their vehicle across the route.

Ultra-low emission zones

If you are known to travel across Central London, you’ll want to make note that a tighter exhaust emission standard (ULEZ standards) is coming into force from April 8th 2019. This simply means your vehicle must meet these standards or face paying a daily charge to travel within that area in order to help improve air quality – one of the most significant issues affecting the health of those living and working in London. If your car, van, or motorbike doesn’t meet the standard, you will have to fork out £12.50 per day when you travel in this area.

The charge will be in operation 24/7, seven days a week and aims to replace the T-Charge that has been in place since 2017. The affected area is set to expand by 2021 too. Nearly all petrol vehicles that have been produced since 2005 already meet the ULEZ standards, but it’s certainly worth checking if yours does if you want to avoid any unexpected future fines.  Introducing this standard is anticipated by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to make London have one of the toughest emission standards in the world.

It’s clear that cars can be expensive, not only to buy but to use. However, they are a necessity to the majority of us. With the likes of carpooling and public transport also being an option, be sure you choose a car that is best-suited to your needs and weigh up all the charges you may be faced with.

*figures collated in August 2018



Leave a Reply