Millions of motorists face the prospect of paying more for their car tax from April this year.

The DVLA changes in the cost of taxing your car means bad news for drivers - unless you are the owner of an electric car.

According to Kent Live , it is being done to reflect changes in emissions technology in newer cars, and was first announced by former Chancellor George Osborne .

To help drivers prepare, here’s what we know about the change, and how it affects you.

Will I be affected?

Under the new rules only electric and hydrogen cars will be exempt - and all other cars will pay a flat rate of £140.

A car emitting 99g/km bought before April 1 will be free of road tax for life.

Those bought after the date will cost £120 in the first year, and £140 a year thereafter.

Cars emitting 131g/km will be taxed £200 instead of £130, those emitting 151g/km will be charged £500 instead of £180, those emitting 171g/km will be charged £800 instead of £295, and those emitting 191g/km will be charged £1,200 instead of £490.

DVLA headquarters in Swansea

The highest possible charge will continue to apply to those emitting over 255g/km, but that will rise from £1,100 to £2,000.

However, those buying high-polluting cars may break-even, with tax set higher in the first year and subsequently falling every year after that.

Why are they doing it?

The current structure based on CO2 bands was introduced in 2001 when average UK new car emissions were 178 gCO2/km.

The Band A threshold of 100 gCO2/km below which cars pay no VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) was introduced in 2003 when average new car emissions were 173 gCO2/km.

Since then, to meet EU emissions targets average new car emissions have fallen to 125 gCO2/km.

This means that an increasingly large number of ordinary cars now fall into the zero- or lower-rated VED bands, meaning they pay no tax at all.

What if I can afford a luxury car?

It will be even worse for those who want to buy luxury or low emissions cars.

Currently, they are tax free but the cost will rocket to £310 a year from the second year of operation.

Owners of luxury cars will have to fork out more in tax

Cars worth more than £40,000 that produce emissions will have to pay £450 a year in years two to six.

So what do I do now?

James Hind, founder of the car buying platform , said: “Some models will cost significantly more to tax each year, so there are long-term savings to be had by buying before the new system kicks in.

“Hybrid cars and small petrol-powered city cars will be cheaper to tax if you buy before April 1.”

If you are unable to buy your low-emissions car before April, then it is worth considering a nearly-new car, which will continue to be taxed under the old system.

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