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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Car benefit calculation Step 5, appropriate percentage, 2002/03 onwards: car with an approved CO2 emissions figure: overview

Section 139 ITEPA 2003

This page relates to step 5 of the method statement in Section 121(1) ITEPA 2003, see EIM24015.

Two distinct categories of rules govern the appropriate percentage for cars first registered on or after 1 January 1998 which have a CO2 emissions figure:

  • special rules for low emission cars, and
  • rules for all other cars.

Special rules for low emission cars

These vary for different years:

  • 2002/03 to 2005/06: low emission cars, EIM24600 
  • 2008/09 to 2011/12: qualifying low emissions cars (QUALECs, EIM24605)
  • 2012/13 to 2014/15: cars with CO2 emissions between 1-75 g/km, EIM24610.

Rules for all other cars

The appropriate percentage for a car first registered on or after 1 January 1998 that has an approved CO2 emissions figure and is not a low emissions car is calculated from the a threshold set for each tax year:

  • for 2002/03 to 2011/12, it is the lower threshold, see EIM24600 
  • for 2012/13 onwards, it is the relevant threshold, see EIM24605.

The differences between the two are made clear on the above pages.

Cars powered by diesel and alternative fuels

The appropriate percentage for a petrol-powered car is used unless the car falls within one of the categories for which adjustments are required.

Adjustments normally need to be made to the appropriate percentage if a car runs on diesel or alternative fuels (though the alternative fuel reductions do not apply to QUALECs, see EIM24605). There is a summary of these adjustments at

  • EIM24825 for years from 2002/03 to 2005/06,
  • EIM24830 for years from 2006/07 to 2010/11, and
  • EIM24855for years from 2011/12.

Full details are on succeeding pages. {#}