It’s getting harder to afford fun cars in Europe. Not only have automakers raised prices in recent years, but governments have implemented huge taxes based on the amount of CO2 emissions the vehicle spits out. In 2024, a Honda Civic Type R costs a whopping €88,560 in The Netherlands. France is no exception, and the Toyota GR Yaris is a brutal example.
Math starts at €46,300 for the updated hot hatch with the six-speed manual gearbox. Not exactly affordable to begin with, right? Well, that’s not the main problem. Customers will effectively pay double that price to park the three-cylinder pocket rocket in their garage. Why? Because that turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine emits 190 grams / kilometer per the WLTP standard. As noticed by Caradisiac, the CO2 tax is €45,990, basically as much as Toyota is asking for the car.
Those still interested in buying the rally-bred supermini will have to fork out €92,290. At current exchange rates, that works out to just under $100,000. It’s even worse for the automatic model. Toyota France has the eight-speed GR Yaris listed at €48,800. Because CO2 emissions are even higher if you forgo the clutch pedal, at 210 g/km, the additional tax is a ludicrous €60,000. That raises the final price to €108,800 (about $117,300).
Toyota France is being relatively optimistic about the GR Yaris’ popularity since it has set aside 300 cars for the local market.
It’s worth noting that this emissions-related tax in France has shot up in 2024 compared to previous years. The €45,990 penalty for the GR Yaris with the manual in 2024 was “only” €14,881 in 2023 and €12,012 in 2022. Similarly, the automatic model’s €60,000 tax this year was €31,063 in 2023 and €26,247 in 2022.
In France, people who buy cars that emit up to 117 g/km don’t have to pay an additional tax. It starts at 118 g/km with a €50 surcharge and goes up from there, topping out at €60,000 for vehicles that have CO2 emissions of 194 g/km or higher. You can check out all the tax rates here.
As for Toyota’s other fun cars, you’d better sit down. The tax on the GR86 is the maximum €60,000 regardless if you’re buying the €33,900 manual model or the €35,700 automatic model since the emissions are higher than 194 g/km. That drives up the final price to €93,900 for the former and to €95,700 for the latter. Yes, the tax is nearly twice the car’s asking price.
The Supra 2.0’s emissions tax amounts to €4,543, so instead of costing €53,600, you end up paying €58,143. The beefier six-cylinder model starts at €65,600, plus the €28,413 tax, so €94,013.
These bigger taxes in European Union countries are a driving factor for the downsizing trend. It’s also the reason why automakers have aggressive electrification plans. The EU plans to ban sales of new cars that generate emissions from 2035, unless the plan will change as recently suggested by Porsche Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke.
The GR Yaris isn’t sold in the United States where we reckon it would be a lot cheaper. Not just because there’s no similar emissions-related tax but also because Europeans pay value added tax (VAT), which is 20 percent in France. Logic tells us the GR Yaris would undercut the $36,500 GR Corolla. Now, if only Toyota would bring it here since fewer and fewer Europeans can afford it…