Best Used Cars with Low Road Tax
06th Sep 2022
Cars that are cheap to tax
With the cost of living constantly making the headlines, any reduction in the expense of a running a car can be a welcome relief.
Therefore, we thought it would be handy to list some of the great used cars that can be purchased that feature low road tax costs. It's worth noting that as road tax rates changed in 2017, these will be pre March 31st 2017 or unless otherwise stated.
With such a diverse choice, it's possible to find everything from popular SUVs, iconic hatchbacks and family favourites, with fully-electric cars placed in the mixed for good measure.
- Ford Fiesta
- Volkswagen Golf
- Nissan Qashqai
- SEAT Leon
- Hyundai i10
- Toyota Aygo
- Vauxhall Corsa
- Kia Picanto
- Renault Zoe
If you're looking for a textbook example of a car that is affordable to run in terms of fuel, insurance, maintenance and tax, then theF ord Fiesta is sure to be near the top of any comprehensive list.
But don't think the Fiesta is therefore dull as dishwater to drive - it's actually one of the best small hatchbacks out there, and its sales numbers express just how popular the humble Fiesta is.
There's a Fiesta to suit all types too, with 3 and 5-door bodystyles, sporty ST models or high-spec Titanium models. To benefit from low road tax, you'll want to find a model from before 31st March 2017 with the excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine.
Not only is the engine nippy, it's also superb on fuel and means you'll pay £0 road tax.Search Ford Fiesta Deals
We started the list with a textbook hatchback, so it can't hurt to include another, only this time it's a bit bigger and German.
The Volkswagen Golf is arguably the best all-round car there is, thanks to its practicality, refinement, quality and the fact that it's somewhat classless, meaning it doesn't look out of place whether that be outside a supermarket, or upmarket hotel.
This handsome hatch is also brilliant at holding its value, so even higher mileage examples tend to cost more than other alternatives out there.
Again, to get the best low tax rates cars registered before 31st March 2017 will cost the least, especially if you find a Bluemotion model - this pretty much indicates you'll pay between £20 and £30 a year for road tax, as well as enjoying almost 60mpg.Search Volkswagen Golf Deals
Another textbook choice, but this time not in the form of a hatchback, no, the Qashqai is the go-to choice for those wanting a trendy SUV. Love them or hate them, the UK can't get enough of crossover SUVs, and the Qashqai is one of the UK's favourites.
Nissan got the Qashqai recipe just right, as consumers wanted the chunky SUV looks without the stereotypical gas-guzzling SUV traits of old. Handy then, that the Qashqai with cheap £30-a-year road tax can be found with a a 1.6-litre diesel (1.6 dCi). Again, pre March 31st 2017 cars will be the ones to go for, otherwise the annual road tax rises to circa £165 a year.
The previous generation Qashqai may not be as handsome as the latest model, but if you want a cheap to run SUV which is smart and reliable, then the Qashqai is well worth a look.Search Nissan Qashqai Deals
If you maybe like the idea of a Golf but want to spend that little bit less, then a SEAT Leon may be the perfect solution.
SEAT have been part of the Volkswagen/Audi group for some time now and their cars are fantastic alternatives that can usually be had for less than their VW equivalent.
Again, if you can find a car from before the changes in 2017, then there's plenty of impressive Leon models which will come with low circa £30 road tax costs, both with petrol and diesel engines.
The 2.0-litre TDI (diesel) or 1.4-litre TSI (petrol) are both pretty decent, and being a SEAT, the cars have their VW family traits of being well-built and so even cars with higher mileages will still be decent buys.Search SEAT Leon Deals
Hyundai have come a long way in the last couple of decades and the quality of their cars continues to impress.
The fact that Hyundai offer a 5-year warranty tells you quite a bit about just how confident they are in their products, as most manufacturers only offer a standard 3-year warranty.
The i10 is a fantastic little city car, that offers low running costs and impressive practicality for a such a small car thanks to five-doors coming as standard.
Look out for 'Premium' models and 'Blue Drive' versions which offer circa £20-a-year road tax before 31st March 2017. These will make an ideal car for those living in the city as they're beautifully compact and can be fun to drive round the tight city streets.Search Hyundai i10 Deals
If you're looking for a car brand that offers top marks in terms of reliability, then Toyota is without doubt one of the stand-outs.
The humble little Aygo is also famed for its minimal running costs, reliability and ease to drive. This makes a used Aygo a great buy. It also makes for a great first car, too.
Oh, and they don't break the bank when it comes to road tax either. Again, pre March 31st 2017 cars can command nothing at all, when selecting certain models.
The 1.0-litre VVT-i engine may not be the fastest thing in the world, but its peppy around town and insurance should be peanuts too, as well as overall running costs also being light on the wallet or purse.Search Toyota Aygo Deals
For generations the Corsa has been many new drivers first car, and with this latest generation the Corsa has been properly overhauled and is now better than ever before, and with a fully-electric powertrain available too, it's also not going to break the bank in terms of running costs.
The Corsa-e variant may be not be the cheapest when compared to a regular petrol-powered Corsa, but in terms of electric cars, it's not bad at all. You'll pay £0 road tax if you choose that model, although it's more expensive to buy.
Generally, you'll pay £165 a year for a petrol Corsa which isn't too bad with the new tax costs, although if you're prepared to find the previous generation Corsa, you can find models with much lower annual premiums.Search Vauxhall Corsa Deals
As modern takes on a classic go, you cannot beat the MINI. There's a few more out there which have nailed the retro modern take on a classic too, but the MINI is arguably the one to beat.
And if you can find a used example registered before 31st March 2017, it's possible to benefit from low road tax costs, usually in the range of circa £20 a year.
This includes both petrol and diesel Cooper models, which have much more about them than the entry-level One, but won't be as thirsty as the Cooper S variants.
You also get one of the funkiest interiors going, with older models still looking chic and cool.Search MINI Hatch Deals
If you're thinking about buying a decent used car, the fact that Kia have been offering 7-year warranties since around 2006 tells you a lot about the quality and belief they have in their cars.
Therefore, if you happen to find a used Kia under 7 years old, it's going to have some manufacturer warranty on it, which can only be a good thing and of course save money if anything should go wrong mechanically.
And the Picanto is also a car famed for being beautifully affordable to run, not just in terms of low road tax. It's great on fuel, cheap on insurance and inexpensive to service. Again, cars registered before 31st March 2017 will offer low road tax costs.Search Kia Picanto Deals
The first sole electric car on our list. The cute little Zoe is a brilliant little car that offers ultra-low running costs, which include paying nothing in terms of road tax due to zero tailpipe emissions.
It doesn't matter what year your ZOE is either, as all models regardless of year made feature a zero road tax cost.
Granted, the newer your used ZOE, the higher the cost is going to be, but used ZOE models are now available for far less than they were new. You'll be able to get up to 238 miles from a single charge, and being able to dodge congestion charges and the like too.Search Renault Zoe Deals
Find a car with cheap insurance
Car insurance is a necessity if you want to drive a car on British roads, but we've proved there are plenty of great used cars available that are cheap to insure, yet great to own.
If you'd like to find out more information on a specific make or model, or would like to try out a car for yourself with a test drive, please contact your nearest CarStore location. Alternatively, our car reviews provide an in-depth look at various models to help you determine whether they're the right car for you.