Pick-up road tax explained

Published 17 October 2019

If you need a working vehicle that is also comfortable and spacious enough to carry passengers on a regular basis, then a pick-up can be an attractive option.

Some company car drivers choose a pick-up as a vehicle rather than a conventional car because the company car tax (Benefit In Kind) is charged at the same rate as for a commercial vehicle, which is frequently less than even some low-cost, fuel-efficient cars.

>>> Van and pick-up road tax VED rates and tables

For road tax - also known as Vehicle Excise Duty - most pick-up trucks are also charged as commercial vehicles, so the rate it attracts depends on its date of first registration.

How much is road tax for my pick-up?

Pick-ups registered before March 1st 2001 pay VED depending on engine size:

1549cc or less: £160 for 12 months or £88 for six months

Above 1549cc: £265 for 12 months or £145.75 for six months

Pick-ups registered after March 1st 2001 pay a flat rate: £260 for 12 months or £143 for six months

Pick-ups registered between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2006 and are Euro4 compliant pay: £140 for 12 months or £77 for six months

Pick-ups registered between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010 and is Euro5 compliant pay: £140 for 12 months, £77 for six months.

A further exemption applies in that pick-up trucks that are 40 years old - so built before January 1979 - are tax-exempt, although you must still go through the VED process to ensure the vehicle is registered as such.

Are all pick-ups commercial vehicles?

This might seem like a silly question, but how a vehicle is categorised by the DVLA and pan-European bodies determines how it is taxed in all respects, including VED. For single-cab pick-ups it is straightforward; all models available to buy in the UK are classified as commercials, indicated by an N1 designation on the V5C.

For double-cab pick-ups there is a further qualification, in that the vehicle’s maximum payload must be 1000kg or more, calculated by subtracting the kerbweight from the maximum vehicle weight. You can find this information on the manufacturer’s website or brochure, but it is important to note that many models may only clear this figure by a few kilograms and it may be spec-dependent, so don’t forget to factor in any options too.

Whether your double-cab qualifies as a commercial vehicle is crucial, not only for company car tax but also VED. For example, a new Nissan Navara Double Cab 2.3dCi 160PS classed as a commercial vehicle will cost £260 for 12 months VED. However, the same vehicle classed as a passenger car attracts a rate of £855 for 12 months on account of its diesel engine and 167g/km CO2 figure in the first year before dropping to the lower rate of £145.

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