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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Car tax rules

Every vehicle registered in the United Kingdom (UK) must be taxed if used or kept on a public road. If the vehicle is kept off-road it must either be taxed or have a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in force. If not it could be wheel clamped or removed.

Tax your vehicle

To tax your vehicle you’ll need:

  • a completed V11 reminder or V10 ‘Application for a tax disc'
  • your registration certificate (V5C) or New Keeper section, if using a V10
  • a completed V62 ‘Application for a Vehicle Registration Certificate V5C’, if you don’t have a registration certificate
  • an MOT test certificate (if your car or motorcycle is over three years old)
  • insurance that covers you against third party claims for death or injury and damage to property caused by using the vehicle
  • the payment for vehicle tax (not needed if your vehicle is exempt from paying vehicle tax)

A Northern Ireland registered vehicle can't be taxed in England, Scotland or Wales.

Displaying your tax disc

Your vehicle tax disc must be displayed on the passenger side (kerb side) of the vehicle’s windscreen. If there’s no windscreen or you have a motorcycle or sidecar, you should display the tax disc on the kerb side of the vehicle.

A current tax disc must be displayed on the vehicle it was bought for. If you buy a new tax disc before your current tax disc expires, you should not display the new one until the old one has expired. The new tax disc is only valid from the first day of the month you have taxed from. The maximum penalty for failure to display a current tax disc is £200. The tax disc can not be transferred between vehicles.

If you use the electronic vehicle licensing service or tax by post at the end of the month, there’s now an exemption for not displaying a tax disc. This exemption covers the first five working days of the month to allow time for the new disc to arrive in the post. While you are still waiting for your tax disc you will need to display your current tax disc. The exemption only applies if applications are made before the current tax disc or SORN expires.

Make a SORN

Make a SORN if you don’t use or keep your vehicle on a public road.

If you don’t tax or SORN your vehicle

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) carries out a computer check each month, as well as roadside checks to identify those vehicles without a valid tax disc. You could face an automatic penalty of £80 as well as a minimum fine of £1000. Your vehicle could be clamped, impounded or even crushed.

Keep your documents up to date

Up to date documents will help you tax or SORN your vehicle on time and avoid a penalty.

Registration certificate

Tell DVLA when you change your name, address or vehicle details so that they can send your V11 reminder on time.

MOT and insurance

Make sure your MOT and insurance certificates are valid on the date you want your tax disc to start. Make a note of any renewal dates to remind you.

Continuous registration

Tell DVLA if you sell, transfer, scrap or export your vehicle, otherwise you’ll continue to be responsible for taxing it even though you no longer have it. Fill in the appropriate section of your registration certificate and send to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BA. You should receive an acknowledgement letter within four weeks, which you should keep as proof that DVLA records have been updated. Contact DVLA customer enquires if you don’t receive it.

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