Here in the UK you might expect to pay around £50,000 for a Discovery 3.0 TDV6 SE on top of which there would be a first-year VED charge (so-called ‘showroom tax’) of £620 followed by an ongoing VED figure of £280. Of course the VED banding is based on carbon emissions and the Discovery emits 224 gCO2/km.
However, compare this with Finland. Here the same vehicle would be priced at about €57,000 (£47,300) but the registration tax would add a whopping 60% – €34,300 (£28,200) – on to the price. That’s an eye-watering on-the-road-cost of €91,300 (£75,500) – oh, plus fuel. After that you’d have to pay €325 (£270) per year in ‘circulation tax’.
By way of comparison, if you are looking to buy a VW Golf Variant 2.0 TDI with 108 gCO2/km in the UK, expect to pay around £21,500 for the vehicle, £0 in VED in the first year and £20 in VED thereafter. In Finland, you would be paying about €24,500 (£20,100) for the car, and a still significant registration tax of €5,191 (£4,270) followed by circulation tax of €85 (£70) per year.
Not that Finland has the highest vehicle taxes in the EU. That honour belongs to Denmark. Norway also has very high vehicle taxes scaled by carbon emissions, which helps to explain why in September 2013 the best-selling car was the Tesla Model S, not least because they enjoy, according to Reuters, “generous subsidies, free parking, government-provided re-charging stations, the right to use express lanes on highways and exemptions from tolls.” Second-hand models are selling for more than new ones because of the long waiting list for cars just off the production line. In the UK you can buy a Tesla from £49,900.