The DVLA is a government run department that is responsible for the registration of vehicles and drivers in the UK. This helps to improve road safety, reduce the number of vehicle-related crimes in the country, support environmental initiatives and limit the occurrence of tax evasion. Without car tax, drivers would be driving illegally in the UK. Road tax must be paid on every single vehicle, unless it is exempt from paying, and is paid every year by drivers.
Everything You Need to Know About Car Tax
If you have any questions about road tax, how it works and who has to pay, contact the DVLA using the phone number listed above. They will be able to assist with any general enquiries along with more specific questions about your road tax payment.
What is car tax
Car tax, also known as Vehicle Excise Duty, is a tax that citizens have to pay to drive legally in the UK. It is a form of excise duty and must be paid for most types of vehicles to use or park on any public road. If a car is not on the roads then you must apply for SCORN which will declare your car off the road and in turn, you won’t need to pay car tax on your vehicle.
To be able to drive in the UK there are a number of legal requirements that you must first adhere to. You must have paid valid vehicle tax, have registered your car, have a valid MOT, be of minimum driving age, have the correct driving license and have paid insurance for your car. If there is any change to your information then you will need to contact the DVLA immediately to let them know. You will need to contact the DVLA when:
- You’ve changed address
- You’ve changed your name
- You make any alterations to your vehicle
- You sell your car
- Already have or have developed a medical condition
No more car tax disk
In the past, cars have been required to display their road tax disc on their vehicles windscreen at all times. This meant that the date of tax was visible at all times so the enforcement of those that had not renewed their tax disc was easier. However, the DVLA has moved to electronic methods of recording car tax payments and has since abolished the need to display tax discs on vehicles across the UK. Now, if you renew your tax it will automatically be updated and you don’t have to do a thing.
If you would like to know more about car tax discs or how car tax is recorded, contact the DVLA on the car tax hotline to speak to an advisor. They will be able to assist with any general enquiries and much more.
Who has to pay
Car tax rates are usually based on Co2 emissions or the engine size of your vehicle and can be worked out using the DVLA online tax calculator. If you would like to find out more information on how to use this calculator or would like to speak to someone about the rate of car tax, call DVLA today using the low-cost telephone number above.
For all cars registered before the 1st March 2001, the vehicle tax is based on the size of the engine your car has. Cars registered past this date are based on CO2 emissions and fuel type of your vehicle. If this information is not available then your car will be taxed using the old system.
If you require any extra information from the DVLA regarding how your vehicle tax will be calculated then contact the DVLA using the telephone number above. An advisor will be able to help answer your queries and provide more information where you may need it.
If you would like to calculate the amount of car tax you need to pay, use the online car tax calculator and get an estimate depending on your emissions, car type and many other factors. If you already have the V5C reference number for a vehicle then it may be quicker to use the Get vehicle information from DVLA service.
Who is exempt from paying car tax
There are a number of people that are actually exempt from paying car tax and therefore do not need to pay, whatever car they have. Those that are exempt from paying car tax are still required to apply for car tax even if they know they do not have to pay car tax. This exemption will be offered once car tax is applied for. Those that are exempt from paying vehicle tax are:
- Vehicles used by a disabled person (can claim disability exemption)
- Disabled passenger vehicles (vehicles used by an organisation to transport disabled people are exempt)
- Mobility scooters, powered wheelchairs and invalid carriages (maximum speed 8mph on the road)
- Historic vehicles (those made before 1 January 1976)
- Electric vehicles
- Mowing machines
- Steam vehicles
- Vehicles used just for agriculture, horticulture and forestry
How to pay vehicle tax
You can apply for and pay your vehicle tax in a number of different ways. Firstly, it is important that you have one of the following pieces of information to hand when you are looking to pay for you car tax:
- Your V11 – a recent reminder or last chance warning letter from DVLA
- Your V5C – your vehicle log book registered in your name
- Your V5C/2 – ‘new keepers details’ slip from a log book if you have just bought the car
You can pay using a debit card, through direct debit or credit card online using the online portal. If you would rather pay using a different method then you can also pay your vehicle tax at the Post Office. Simply, head to a Post Office that deals with vehicle tax. You will need to take either the payment for your vehicle tax or your bank or building society account details to be able to set up a Direct Debit. You will also need to take either your vehicle log book (V5C) or your ‘new keeper’s details’ slip (VC5/2) from a log book if you have just bought the car. If for any reason you do not have any of these documents, you will need to apply for a new logbook either via telephone or by post. It is also recommended to bring along your MOT test certificate. It can take around two days for your MOT to be updated and so you might not be able to tax your vehicle immediately after it passes its test.
If you are keeping your car off the road and not using it, for example, storing it in a garage, then you will not be required to pay car tax. You will still need to register that your car is off the road.
Cancel car tax and get a refund
It is possible to cancel your car tax and get a refund for the remaining time left on your car tax if you no longer own your car or it is currently off the roads. You will be given a refund on all full months remaining that you have paid for.
To cancel your car tax you must contact DVLA and let them know that your car has been:
- sold to someone else
- taken off the road (SORN)
- written off by your insurance company
- scrapped at a scrapyard
- exported out of the UK
- registered as exempt from vehicle tax
There is no other way to cancel your road tax other than by contacting DVLA via telephone to update them on your current situation. Once you have cancelled your car tax any Direct Debit will be cancelled immediately. You will then receive a refund cheque for any months remaining on your car tax.
If you do not receive your refund from DVLA then you must contact DVLA using the phone number above. For any further assistance, call the DVLA helpline.
Where is my tax disc?
If you have paid your vehicle tax and have not received a tax disc then your tax will still be valid. Tax discs are not issued anymore and so your payment and renewal of car tax will still be recorded online. If you would like to find out more about car tax discs, contact the DVLA hotline and find out more.
How to find out if your car is already taxed?
Find out if your car is already taxed by contacting DVLA and asking if that vehicle has been taxed. Do bare in mind that it can take up-to 5 days for records to be updated. You can also check to see if your car is taxed using the online portal on DVLA website. Before you call DVLA, make sure you have your registration plate number and the make of the vehicle.
Where is my car tax refund?
If you are waiting for your car tax refund and still haven’t received it, contact DVLA using the telephone number above. They will be able to give you an update on your account and when you should receive your refund.
How can I cancel my road tax?
It is possible to cancel your road tax if you no longer own your car or your car is currently off the roads. To cancel your car tax contact DVLA via telephone and tell them the reason for cancelling your car tax. They will be able to give you a refund for any remaining months you have paid for.
What are DVLA tax bands?
DVLA tax bands differentiate between vehicles and the level of CO2 emissions produced. Cars that produce the most CO2 emissions will be in a higher band than those with lower emissions. This is an incentive for drivers to purchase low-emission cars.