Company Car Tax - How is CO2 Rating Determined?


Distinguished Member
I'm about to choose my new company car and I'm looking at those that fit in the new <120 CO2 band which attracts a much reduced level of company car tax. Manufacturers (Ford, VW and BMW in particular) have responded by producing cars that 'magically' have a CO2 rating of 119.

So I'm looking at the Ford Focus TDCI 1.6 DPF but can't decide between the 5 door hatch and 5 dorr estate.

Accoring to the Ford brochure both of these are rated at CO2 = 119.

If I go with the estate I will want to put the optional roof rails on it because I think it makes it look nicer.

Now in my simple mind this would add drag and may increase CO2.

What I would like to know is who determines the actual CO2 rating that will be used for taxing the car - the value that appears on the Vehicle Registration Document.

Is it done by the DVLA (or whatever they are called now)?

Do they just use the base value for the car or do they consider the impact of optional extras?

Do they just use look up tables or is an actual measurement (like would be done at the MOT) taken?

I've asked Arval and Ford and neither have any idea.

My worst case scenario is that I select a low performance car only to find it turn up with a CO2 rating of 121 rather than 119 so killing off the tax benefit.



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