Road tax

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Road tax, known by various names around the world, is a tax which has to be paid on, or included with, a wheeled vehicle to use it on a public road.

National implementations[edit]


All 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 known colloquially as 'rego' (pronounced with a soft g, short for registration).[1] Queensland road tax is based on the number of cylinders or rotors the vehicle's engine has. There is also a small traffic improvement fee. New South Wales road tax is paid based on the vehicle's tare weight.


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.[2]

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 each 200cc is one class higher).[3] Due to CO2-based regulations, diesel cars with above average displacement (>2,000cc) are favoured, 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, 800-2,499cc; €148/year and >2,500cc: €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]

Costa Rica[edit]

The Costa Rican car property tax, commonly referred to as Marchamo, is among the highest in Latin America, with rates that can go up to 3.5% of the fiscal value of the vehicle yearly. When compared to the Costa Rican minimum wage (₡331,516.22 a month, equivalent to US$597.33), the tax on an average US$15,000 (₡8,600,000) car can be ₡302,000 (US$525), or 80% to 120% of a month's pay. Even though Costa Ricans receive a yearly bonus equivalent to a month's salary, the property tax negates this for most car owners, which has led to calls for tax law reform.

Opponents to the car property tax argue that common cars already pay 100% tariff when imported, meaning that a car in Costa Rica is twice as expensive as in the country of origin. Additionally, gas refills include 65% fuel tax. Owning a car that would cost US$7,500 to purchase (in the United States) for seven years can result in the owner paying up to US$29,595 in total taxes (around US$4,227.85 a year). The Ministry of Finance also has the right to step up the fiscal value of a car, effectively a negative depreciation.[4][5]


In France, the vignette was abolished for private vehicles in 2001 and was replaced by a tax on toll-road operators[6] at a rate of €6.85 per 1,000 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 per gramme to €19 per gramme.


In Germany, the Motor Vehicle tax (Kraftfahrzeugsteuer) is an annual tax on all vehicles, it ranges from €5 per 100cc to €25 per 100cc for petrol engines and €13 to €37 for diesel engines.[7] 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). An on-line tax calculator has been made available.[8]

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 1500 cc, then the tax band changes at 2500cc, 3500cc and 4500cc. Due to this system of license fee, most of 1600 cc to 1800 cc car models do not sell well. Most people prefer 1500 cc for compact cars. Due to this reason, some manufacturers provide only the 1500 cc version of their compact cars to Hong Kong market such as Toyota Corolla and Nissan Tiida. Both of these two cars only have 1500 cc version available.

By engine volume:

  • ≤ 1500 cc = HK$3,929
  • 1501 cc- 2500 cc = HK$5,794
  • 2501 cc- 3500 cc = HK$7,664
  • 3501 cc- 4500 cc = HK$9,534
  • >4500 cc = HK$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 the respective state governments (lifetime and also annual for commercial vehicles) also, further there could be toll for specific usage of roads( charge depends on distance, type, etc). At the time of purchase of the vehicle, the government levies GST (Goods & Services Tax) at the rate of 28% and additional cess is levied based on the cubic capacity of the engine of the vehicle(1% for small cars with CC< 1200 CC, 3% for CC between 1200 and 1500 CC, 15% for above 1500 CC). Electric cars are levied lower tax of 12%

The motor vehicles tax (called road tax) is calculated on the basis of various factors including engine capacity, seating capacity, unladen weight and cost price; each state has different rules and regulations for charging the road tax.

There is proposal to have uniform rules and also tariff across the country in line with the governments initiative of having "One Nation-One Tax".

In these days, in India there is a movement called "Digital India" in which every type of work related to every departments are getting digitalized and "Ministry of Road Transport & Highways" has created a portal called "Vahan" for online road tax payment to ease the pain of paying of taxes to the government in offline mode, it is a very smooth experience to pay such taxes from home and saving time.[9]


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 €120 pa with emissions of 0-80 g/km to €2,350 pa with emissions over 225g. Commercial vehicles including 5 seater large 4WD vehicles no matter what size engine or CO2 emissions are €333 the highest rate is €2345 for passenger vehicles. All vintage vehicles are taxed at €56 per year; a vehicle is considered vintage 30 years after the date of first registration.


A tax is collected under the Local Tax Act of 1950 that is paid every May based on the vehicle's engine's displacement; the tax is then determined by whether the vehicle is for business or personal use. Brackets are determined based on exterior dimensions and engine displacement as defined under the dimension regulations; the tax to be paid is then based on the engine's displacement starting with engines below 1,000 cc, and increasing at 500 cc intervals to a top bracket of 6,000 cc and above.[10][11][12]

Personal vehicles pay more than vehicles identified as business use. If the car has been certified as a low-emissions vehicle, under the Japanese low-emission vehicle certification system, the tax obligation is reduced. Kei cars (Japanese vehicles with 660 cc engines and reduced exterior dimensions) have significant tax advantages because their tax is about a quarter of that of a 1,000 cc car.

The legislation is similar to a European approach to taxing engine horsepower, while the Japanese approach taxes engine displacement.

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 125 cc: ¥500
    • Motorcycles 126 cc 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 (in Japanese). It was modified March 31, 2010, and again April 1, 2010 one day later; the tax is paid every year in conjunction with the engine displacement based road tax. The weight determination is made in metric tons.

Vehicle class Tax amount
motorcycle ¥1,500
kei car ¥2,500
passenger car ¥2,500 per 0.5 ton
truck ¥2,500 per ton

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:

Vehicle class Personal use Business use
motorcycle ¥2,200 ¥1,600
kei two wheel(126~250cc) ¥5,500 ¥4,300
new kei car ¥11,300 ¥8,100
renewal kei car ¥3,800 ¥2,700
passenger car ¥5,000 per 0.5 ton ¥2,700 per 0.5 ton
truck (commercial vehicle) ¥3,800 for 1 ton, ¥7,600 for 2 tons, ¥11,400 for 2.5 tons, ¥15,000 for 3 tons, ¥5,000 each additional ton, ¥2,700 for 1 ton
bus ¥5,000 per ton ¥2,700 per ton
March 31, 2010 only
Vehicle class Personal use Business use
motorcycle ¥2,500 ¥1,700
kei two wheel(126~250cc) ¥6,300 ¥4,500
new kei car ¥13,200 ¥8,400
renewal kei car ¥4,400 ¥2,800
passenger car ¥6,300 per 0.5 ton ¥2,800 per 0.5 ton
truck (commercial vehicle) ¥4,400 for 1 ton, ¥8,800 for 2 tons, ¥13,200 for 2.5 tons, ¥18,900 for 3 tons, ¥6,300 each additional ton, ¥2,800 for 1 ton
bus ¥6,300 per ton ¥2,800 per ton

Road Tax increments[edit]

The following is the tax rates for passenger vehicles used for both personal and business use, incremented by 500 cc engine displacement.[13]

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
    • ≤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
    • ≤ 1500cc €8,54
    • 1501cc- 2000cc €21,34
    • 2001cc- 2500cc €34,15
    • 2501cc- 3000cc €51,22
    • 3001cc- 3500cc €85,37
    • 3501cc- 4000cc €149,40
    • 4001cc- 5000cc €213,43
    • >5000cc €277,46
  • By engine maximum power
    • ≤ 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 each vehicle. In 2013, as an example, the annual tax for a BMW 330D 2004 model was €224.


Until 2011, the federal government charged an annual vehicle tax, Tenencia Vehicular, depending on the value and other vehicle characteristics. Although the tax was federal, the states collected the tax; this tax was created in 1961 and in 2006 represented about 1.6% of the total tax income (around 13 billion pesos).[14]

In 2012, vehicle tax became a state matter with some states charging the tax, others charging a partial tax (mostly on cars above a certain value) and others such as Morelos and Querétaro, charging no tax.


In the Netherlands, a tax is applied to the vehicle based on its weight and fuel type, and the region.[15] Electric vehicles and classic cars over forty 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 of 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 2,940 kr (with a slightly higher amount, 3,425 kr, for diesel cars without diesel particulate filters).


In Spain two taxes apply to motor vehicles:

  1. The registration tax (impuesto de matriculation) applies at purchase time to the purchase price. It is a national tax and the rate varies from 0% to 14.75% depending on CO2 emissions. In some cases regions may fix their own rates.
  2. 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 ranged from €22 for up to 8 HP to €224 for vehicles with over 20 HP.[16][17]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom it is a requirement to pay 'Vehicle Excise Duty', which is paid to the government for a vehicle licence.[18] Previously, vehicle licences in the form of paper discs were required to be displayed on vehicles, and this licence would remain valid until its expiry date even if the vehicle is transferred to another keeper; the paper discs were abolished in October 2014, meaning that the licence is merely an entry in the centralised database; moreover, following this change the licence is cancelled if the vehicle is transferred.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

In the 2015 budget the government announced that from 2020 the revenue would be ring-fenced for expenditure on the strategic road network.[22]

United States[edit]

Each state requires an annual 'registration fee' which varies from state to state.[23]

Additionally, in some states, counties and/or municipalities are allowed to also impose a vehicle tax. For example, in Illinois, Cook County taxes 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. ^ [1] Archived 2012-06-25 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2012-08-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Hacienda corrige valor fiscal en 20% de los vehículos, acepta error en costo de mercado |". | Periodico Digital | Costa Rica Noticias 24/7 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  5. ^ "Impuesto a la propiedad de vehículos automotores, aeronaves y embarcaciones". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Road Tax, Road Tolls and Fees in France | CFE portal". Retrieved 2011-11-23.
  7. ^ "tax rates for diesel engines (in german)". Retrieved 2011-11-23.
  8. ^ "Kfz-Steuer-Rechner - Bundesfinanzministerium - Service". Bundesministerium der Finanzen. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  9. ^ Techie Prem (2019-04-13), How to pay Road Tax Online Latest Video in Hindi by Techie Prem | online road tax payment |Road tax, retrieved 2019-05-15
  10. ^ "2014 Road Tax collections to start May 2 - Stripes Okinawa". 28 April 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Road tax season returns - Stripes Okinawa". 9 May 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  12. ^ Djbert (20 April 2014). "Moving To & Living in Okinawa, Japan: 2014 Road Tax Collection Schedule". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Annual Automobile Tax in Japan". Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  14. ^ "żQué es la tenencia vehicular? - El Universal Online - México". Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Barcelona vehicle tax" (PDF). (in Catalan). Retrieved 2011-11-23.
  17. ^ "Madrid vehicle tax" (in Spanish). 1999-01-26. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
  18. ^ "The cost of vehicle tax". DirectGov. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  19. ^ "Vehicle tax changes". Retrieved 2014-10-01.
  20. ^ "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).
  21. ^ Harrabin, Roger (15 August 2013). "The BBC explains "Road Tax"". Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  22. ^ C.R. (8 July 2015). "The five key questions answered". The Economist. London.
  23. ^ "registration, road tax and safety in the US". Just Landed. Archived from the original on 2010-02-25. Retrieved 2010-03-30. Registration fees are usually paid annually Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)