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Does anyone understand T4 vehicle tax rates? Have just received my annual Vehicle Tax reminder. (The start of an expensive month with vehicle tax followed by insurance followed by annual service/MOT !!) This year the Government wants from me £215 for 12months vehicle tax. Thought I would just check the applicable rate on the web and have become thoroughly bemused. Can anyone explain in simple terms how this rate has been determined?

Vehicle details from V5C document include First registered – JANUARY 2002, Make – VOLKSWAGEN, Model/Type – TRANSPORTER TDI SWB, Body type - MOTOR CARAVAN, Taxation class - PRIVATE/LIGHT GOODS (PLG), Cylinder capacity 2461cc, Fuel – HEAVY OIL, Mass in service - 1749. Note the vehicle was first registered by either the VW supplying dealership or by Bilbo’s the converter to caravan. All details must have been supplied by one or the other. Note also the space on the V5C form for CO2(g/km) is blank.

The Direct Gov website gives a 12 month rate for PLG vehicles over 1549cc as £215 but this is for vehicles registered before March 2001. For vehicles registered after March 2001 it says the tax is based on CO2 emissions. As above though my V5C doc does not give a CO2 emissions value. When my vehicle registration details are put into another section of the Direct Gov website it comes up with CO2 - 0g/km and a tax rate of £215.

Elsewhere on the Direct Gov website the CO2 value for a VW 2.5TDI 88BHP window van comes up as 219g/km – Tax band K which for 12 months is £260. On this basis it obviously makes sense not to query anything and to just pay the £215 as requested but can anyone explain how/why it will have been determined that this is the appropriate rate for my vehicle.

There is also on the Direct Gov website an annual tax rate of £210 for Light Goods Vehicles under 3500kg registered after March 2001 but before March 2003. Appreciate this is only £5 less than my renewal form request and hence it is probably not worth stirring anything up for this amount but just for my edification what are the pros/cons between a vehicle being registered as PRIVATE /LIGHT GOODS or just LIGHT GOODS. Is it even an option for a motor caravan? NB I live just inside the London LEZ but are deemed compliant at present. This might affect answers.

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