“Company Car Tax in the UK in 2020/21” is an unlikely title for a Douglas Adams novel, but his humour helps make sense of the ridiculous situation we find ourselves in.

Do you remember the answer to the Meaning of Life? 42. The problem was nobody knew what the question was?

So over to Marvin the Paranoid Android to explain what you need to do on form P11D for 2020/21 (I need you to imagine this in his voice):

What you enter on form P11D, forms P46(car), or put through payroll if appropriate, depends upon:

  1. The date the car was registered, there’s new rules for cars registered on or after 6 April 2020
  2. The fuel type; petrol, diesel, hybrid, Plug in Hybrid (PHEV) or pure EV. Note that even mild hybrids (MHEVs) do NOT attract diesel surcharge (use table letter A)
  3. CO2 emissions, which you can find on the V5. If registered before 6 April 2020 use the NEDC emissions figure, after that it’s under WLTP (and therefore often much higher)
  4. And if it’s a PHEV emitting 50g/km or less of CO2 then you’ll need the Zero Emission Range (ZER), which for cars registered on or after 6 April 2020 will be under WLTP

Much of this data will be on the V5, or you can look it up on the DVLA website using the registration number. The ZER figure, however, is not on the V5 or DVLA website, and for cars registered on or after 6 April 2020 it needs to be the actual figure for that particular car, so you can’t just look it up in the back of “Fleet News” (of course Marvin reads Fleet News). If the car has bigger alloys, or a sunroof, etc, it will have a lower ZER and could fall into a higher benefit in kind tax bracket.

So where do you get that value? Hmmmm, it was on that piece of paper that was glued inside the car’s windscreen before the car was delivered. Amazingly, it’s not on the DVLA website, and it’s not on the V5. It’s a bit of paper that may have ended up in the bin. Even Marvin is confused why HMG hasn’t insisted that the number is recorded somewhere you can find it because it DRIVES THE TAX & NIC LIABILITY!

So your leaseco or supplying dealership should be able to get you the ZER, but the obligation is with you to check it’s right. And if they can’t, then you can ask the driver if they have the bit of paper (some dealerships, e.g. Audi try to put in in the driver pack in the glove box).

And if none of that works we are launching a service that can check the P11D entries for you, but there is a small cost.

Now for the real Hitchhiker’s Guide nerds amongst you, I have to warn you that if we figure all of this out, then there’s a risk that the entire universe will collapse and be replaced by something even weirder.