Independent transport and environment consultancy, Ecolane in association with WhatGreenCar.com has launched a new ‘Check Your Car Tax SMS service’ that calculates the rate of Vehicle Excise duty (road tax) for cars registered in the UK. The service uses a car's vehicle registration plate to calculate road tax bands and 12-month rates for this year and next.
To use the service, the user simply sends an SMS text message with the keyword CARTAX together with a car's registration number (eg XY09ABC) to 86688. The service automatically replies via text message with the VED car tax bands (if applicable) and 12-month rates for this year and next. Other information is also provided as part of the service: the car's make, model and fuel type are included to confirm the car's details. Engine capacity (cc) and the official CO2 emissions (g/km) are also provided if applicable and available.
As explained by Ecolane's director, Dr Ben Lane: "The ‘Check Your Car Tax text service’ has been designed to help motorists to calculate their current VED car tax band and 12-month car tax rate; a useful tool given the current tax system’s complexity and the fact that few motorists know their car’s CO2 emissions or VED tax band. The service is also designed to help motorists understand the implications of the imminent change in car tax bands and rates due to come into force on 1st April this year."
The Check Your Car Tax service costs £1 per car tax check (plus the standard network charge for the initial text). The service provides tax rates for most cars registered in the UK; in circumstances where vehicle information is not available, the user is NOT charged for the service. At present, the service is only able to calculate road tax for vehicles defined for revenue purposes as cars (as defined by the DVLA's Private Light Goods (PLG) revenue category TC11).
The database used by the Service is based on the latest information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which includes most cars registered in the UK. The DVLA dataset is initially based on vehicle data as supplied by vehicle manufacturers and registration agencies at the point of registration.
In cases where vehicles are subsequently converted or modified (eg after-market conversions to LPG), and/or in cases where the Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) has been changed (eg to a private number plate), the Check Your Car Tax service will only reflect any changes to vehicle emissions and/or road tax rates if and when the DVLA has been notified of the change.