Car owners pay taxes on their vehicle: before even setting off on the road, they must pay the registration tax (TMC) and, subsequently, each year a road tax, also called road tax. The calculation of the two taxes involves an important factor: the CO2 emissions of the car. And this component of vehicle taxation has not escaped controversy in recent years. Remember the “dieselgate” and the secret software with which car manufacturers tampered with the CO2 emissions of their cars. This scandal led the European authorities to institute a new emissions test, called the WLTP procedure. This more realistic test increased the measured CO2 emissions by an average of a quarter compared to the NEDC standard used previously.
To prevent the application of the WLTP from leading to a general increase in the tax burden for motorists, the rolling tax in force in Flanders will be adapted from 2021. The new rules will in fact only apply to new registered cars. from January 1st. For cars registered before this date, the old rules remain applicable for the entire life of the vehicle. This also applies to used cars, whose first registration is before 2021, even if their new owners register them from January 1.
Applying the TMC calculation formula will increase the tax on polluting cars (with high CO2 emissions). But, for the majority of new family and city cars, the tax will become less heavy: for 70% of vehicles, the tax will drop by an average of 144 euros. Thus, the owners of the five most popular models currently will make the following tax gain: Renault Clio (-100 euros), Volkswagen Golf (-57 euros), Opel Corsa (-143 euros), Renault Captur (-137 euros) and Hyundai Tucson (-215 euros). For nearly 30% of vehicles, the tax will be higher by 348 euros on average. The largest increases among the 50 most popular models are for the following vehicles: BMW serie-X3 (+794 euros), Mercedes GLC-klasse (+447 euros), Peugeot 3008 (+165 euros), Peugeot Rifter (+132 euros) ) and Citroën C5 Aircross (+127 euros).
Overall, however, the adaptation of the annual road tax only represents a few euros more or less. Thus, for 60% of vehicles, the road tax drops on average by 6 euros per year. And for nearly 36%, the average increase is limited to 10 euros per year.
Since 2016, 100% electric cars and vehicles running on hydrogen have been exempt from the TMC and the annual road tax. This tax exemption will continue to apply in 2021. Plug-in hybrids and cars running on CNG or LNG benefited from a temporary exemption from the road tax until December 31, 2020. From January 1, 2020 , new plug-in hybrids and cars running on natural gas will have to pay the TMC and road tax, based on WLTP emission standards.
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