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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Applying for a refund of vehicle tax

You can apply for a refund of vehicle tax if you are the current registered keeper or were the last registered keeper of your vehicle. You'll also need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) why the vehicle no longer needs the tax disc.

When to apply for a refund

You need to post your refund application before the first day of the month that you are claiming the refund. You also need to tell DVLA why you are applying for a refund. This may be because the vehicle has been:

  • sold
  • transferred
  • scrapped
  • exported
  • stolen
  • re-taxed in a nil value tax class - like the disabled tax class
  • taken off the road - SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in place with DVLA

Your application will be rejected if you don't give these details and a rejection letter sent to you. The name on the refund application should also match exactly what’s on your vehicle registration certificate (V5C).

If you haven’t already told DVLA about any of the notices mentioned you can send one with your refund application.

Do not apply for a refund if your vehicle is in the process of having its registration number transferred or retained. The tax disc will be dealt with at the time of the transfer or retention application.

If your vehicle is being transferred from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI) or NI to GB, you do not need to apply for a refund. The tax disc is still valid.

How to apply for a refund

You can apply for a refund of vehicle tax with a tax disc, or without one if it has been lost or stolen.

Application with a tax disc

To apply for your refund, fill in and download the form V14 ‘Application for a refund of vehicle tax when you have the tax disc’. Once you have filled in the form online you should:

  • print and sign your form
  • attach your tax disc
  • post to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AL

There is an online step by step guide available to help you with this.

You can also download a copy of the form which you can complete by hand using the link below. Please ensure to sign the form and attach your tax disc before you send it to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AL. The form is also available from a tax issuing Post Office®.

Application without a tax disc

Fill in a V33 ‘Application for a refund of vehicle tax when the tax disc is missing’. Send the form to Refund Section, DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AL.

The V33 form is only available by phoning DVLA Customer Enquiries on 0300 790 6802 or from a DVLA local office.

If the tax disc is found after a refund has been paid, you must return the disc with a covering letter to DVLA.

Your vehicle has been stolen

When you tell the police of the theft you’ll need to get a crime reference number. You’ll need to provide details of the theft and crime reference number given by the police on the V33 form.

As many vehicles are recovered within a few days of theft you should wait at least seven days before applying for a refund. Applying earlier than the seven days may cause your application to be returned to you.

If your vehicle has been recovered you still may wish to apply for a refund. If you do apply for a refund, DVLA will need to know what has happened to the vehicle since its recovery.

Making a SORN or other notification to DVLA

You can make a SORN on the V14 form at the same time as applying for a refund, if you're keeping the vehicle and taking it off the road.

You can also send to DVLA notice of sale or transfer of your vehicle, or notice of the vehicle being exported, with your refund application.

An acknowledgement letter should be sent to you within four weeks and it’s sent separately to the refund. If you don’t receive the letter, please contact DVLA Customer Enquiries.

The amount you’ll be refunded

A refund is paid for each full month left to run on the tax disc at the time you apply. For example, if your tax disc expires at the end of September and you apply during July you'll receive a refund for two months.

If you have a six-month tax disc you paid an extra ten per cent handling charge when you bought it. This is not included as part of your refund.

If you don’t have a tax disc to send back, an administration fee of £7 will be taken away from the amount refunded to you. The refund will be made payable to the person named on the application form. The name should match exactly what’s on the vehicle registration certificate.

A refund cannot be backdated. It can only be paid from one of the following dates (whichever is later):

  • the date your refund application was sent
  • from when DVLA were told why you no longer need the tax disc

First year rates

If you paid a higher 'first year rate' tax for a newly registered vehicle, you will only get a refund based on this if the:

  • vehicle has been stolen
  • vehicle has been scrapped
  • vehicle's tax class has changed to a nil value tax class such as 'disabled'

Your vehicle tax refund will be based on the lower standard rate if:

  • the vehicle has been sold
  • the vehicle has been exported
  • you have made a SORN

When to expect your refund

Refunds may take up to six weeks to process. You need to allow the six weeks for a refund to get to you before making enquiries with DVLA. If you haven’t had a response to your application after this time please contact DVLA Customer Enquiries on 0300 790 6802 or email:

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