Experts have issued warnings to UK drivers ahead of significant increase to car tax charges next month.

Vehicle excise duty (VED) on all but the cleanest new and used cars will increase from April 1, with an increase of around 6 per cent expected.

For the majority of drivers, the annual cost will go up by between £5 and £10, however, newer vehicles with high emissions could see bills increase by £140 in the first year.

Drivers are being urged to reassess their vehicle’s tax status as the April 1 change looms.

Experts at Motor Match warned: “With April 1 just around the corner, it's a critical time for UK motorists to take note and act to avoid potential fines and disruptions. The upcoming changes to the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates, as outlined in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023, are routine adjustments and represent a significant shift in how vehicle taxation is approached in the UK.

“The increase in VED rates in line with the retail price index starting April 1, 2024, is a wake-up call for all vehicle owners. This adjustment means that the cost of taxing a vehicle is set to rise, reflecting the current economic conditions. Vehicle owners must review their tax status and ensure they are prepared for potentially higher charges.”

"It is crucial to understand that driving without a valid car tax is illegal. Initially, offenders face a £80 fine. However, failure to address this fine can escalate, potentially leading to prosecution and a maximum fine of £1,000. The DVLA also has the authority to clamp vehicles until the outstanding taxes are paid."

What to do as car tax rises

These are four things Motor Match is urging all drivers to do before April 1.

Check Your Vehicle Tax Status

Ensure your vehicle is currently taxed. If you need clarification, the DVLA provides an online service where you can quickly check the tax status of your car.

Understand the New Rates

Familiarise yourself with the new VED rates that will take effect from April 1, 2024. Knowing the exact rate for your vehicle type will help you budget accordingly and avoid any unexpected costs.

Tax Your Vehicle in Advance

If your vehicle tax is due for renewal soon, consider taxing your vehicle before April 1st to avoid the increased rates for another year. This can lead to significant savings, especially for vehicles with higher emissions.

Plan for Zero Emission Changes

Owners of zero-emission vehicles should note the changes coming in 2025 when these vehicles will no longer be exempt from VED. Planning ahead of time for this financial adjustment will help reduce the impact on drivers.