The 2024 Honda Civic Type R costs $45,890 in the US when you include destination and handling fees. But math is different in European Union countries, and it's not just because of the value-added tax (VAT). The Netherlands is a shocking example of how one can spend six figures on a car powered by a small four-cylinder engine. No, we're not talking about the Mercedes-AMG C63.
Dutch pay 21 percent for VAT on a new car before the dreaded Belasting van personenauto's en motorrijwielen (BPM) comes into play. BPM essentially means "taxation of passenger cars and motorcycles" and the fees depend on the amount of CO2 emissions spewing from the tailpipe. In the case of the Civic Type R, the hot hatch spits out 186 grams / km.
The table above illustrates the BPM calculation, and for the high-performance hatch like the CTR, falling into the category of the most polluting cars results in a huge financial commitment. Purchasing a CTR incurs an initial cost of €13,655, with an additional €549 charged for every gram above the 161 g/km threshold. Given that the feisty Honda emits an extra 25 g/km beyond this limit, the total BPM amounts to €13,725. When you factor in the previously mentioned fixed rate, the cumulative BPM reaches €27,380.
Including all these additional costs results in a starting price of €88,560 in the Netherlands, equivalent to nearly $97,000 at current exchange rates. This is more than double the price of a CTR without options in the United States. If you opt for extras such as the Championship White paint, Carbon Pack, and the Illumination Pack, the price can go up to as much as €95,060 (almost $104,000).
But the CTR isn't the only ludicrously expensive sporty four-banger in the country. The Volkswagen Golf GTI starts at €60,990 ($66,600) and the Golf R retails from €84,990.
Increasingly stringent emissions regulations are not the only reason why large-displacement engines are dying in EU countries. These high taxes on gas-guzzling cars – even those with 2.0-liter engines – are putting another nail in the ICE's coffin. This is why automakers are aggressively promoting plug-in hybrids and EVs.