Car sales could experience a ‘boom’ over the first few months of 2017, according to online cart retailer BuyaCar.co.uk,  as buyers look to beat new car tax rules due to come into place in April.

Under changes to the car tax system due to come into force, BuyaCar said dozens of models would start to attract £400 in charges over three years, though this number could increase to over £900 in some cases.

In the case of a Dacia Sandero, owners currently pay nothing in tax for the first year, and £30 in subsequent years. Under the incoming car tax system, owners will pay £160 in the first year, and £140 ever after that.

Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk, said anyone buying a car after April will be in for a ‘massive shock.”

“We’re currently selling a lot of these cars on finance packages that cost little more than £100 a month, so owners will effectively have to fork out the equivalent of an extra month-and-a-half’s payments every year,” he added.

The website said a poll of 1,000 people at the end of 2016 revealed the number of people looking to buy a car in the next three months had doubled when compared to a poll asking the same question six months earlier.

Retailers are already reporting that buyers are changing their cars early to ensure that they are delivered and on the road before April 1 next year, it said.

Collins added: “The new scheme is flawed because it doesn’t take account of the actual sold price,” says Collins.

“Everyone knows most cars are rarely sold at the list price because there are often huge discounts available. So when we’re selling a £40,000 car for £35,000, why should a customer have to pay a wealth tax?

“It’s also going to be expensive for people who buy extremely efficient hybrid cars with low emissions, like the Toyota Prius: they’ll be paying tax at pretty much the same rate as someone who buys a big SUV.”