On October 1 2014 the DVLA made road tax non-transferable, a move that caused some confusion for those buying and selling used cars.
At the same time, the tax disc to show motorists have paid vehicle excise duty was replaced with an electronic system.
Pay car tax online
The quickest and simplest way to renew road tax or pay road tax for a new vehicle, is to pay your car tax online.
Taxing your car can be done 24 hours a day using the government's online system at www.gov.uk/tax-disc.
What do I need to pay vehicle tax online?
One of the following is required to pay your road tax online:
- V11 - a 16-digit reference number detailed on your vehicle tax renewal letter
- V5C - an 11-digit reference number on your vehicle's log book
- V5C/2 - If you've just purchased a vehicle, this is the 12-digit reference number on your new keeper supplement
You can pay for road tax online using a debit or credit card, or by Direct Debit.
How do I tax a new car?
As mentioned above, If you've just purchased a new car, you can use the 12-digit reference number on your new keeper supplement (V5C/2) to pay your vehicle tax online.
The V5C/2 for my car has less than 12 digits: How to I pay road tax online?
Some older cars may have a reference number of fewer than 12 digits. You can still arrange your road tax renewal with the DVLA through this link: Tax your vehicle - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Can I tax my vehicle by phone?
If you don’t wish to pay your road tax online, it is instead possible to pay by phone.
Phone number to pay UK road tax
You can call 0300 123 4321 (textphone 0300 790 6201) to pay your road tax.
The process is automated and takes just a few minutes. However, you cannot arrange road tax payment by Direct Debit by phone.
Local rate charges apply.
Can I pay at the Post Office?
Another alternative to paying your road tax online, most Post Offices still let you pay your road tax at the counter. You can pay by debit/credit card, or Direct Debit.
What documents do I need to pay road tax at the Post Office?
Simply take along your V11 reminder, V5C or new keeper supplement (V5C/2).
You may also need your up-to-date MOT test certificate, which must still be valid at the time the tax period begins.
You’ll also need to know the payment sum detailed on the road tax renewal reminder.
Which Post Offices let me pay over-the-counter?
You can find a Post Office that accepts vehicle tax payments by entering your postcode on this page: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/identity/vehicle-tax
What if I'm exempt from vehicle tax payment?
If you're exempt from paying road tax - e.g. because you're disabled, or you have an electric vehicle or your vehicle was made before 1 January 1981 - your vehicle must still be taxed.
How do I tax an exempt vehicle?
It is possible to arrange road tax for exempt vehicles online, via telephone or at most post offices.
Changing your car’s tax class to or from ‘disabled’
You may need to change your vehicle’s tax class, for example if either:
- your car was previously used by a disabled person
- you’re disabled and taxing your car for the first time
You can only apply at a Post Office.
Paying vehicle tax in advance
You can tax your vehicle up to 2 months before it expires if you’re going to be away from home (eg on holiday) when your current tax runs out.
To arrange to pay your road tax in advance, you can apply by post before you go.
What documents do I need to pay vehicle tax in advance?
You need to send the following documents and payment for your road tax to the DVLA:
- your V5C registration certificate (log book)
- a letter explaining why you’re applying in advance
- a completed application for vehicle tax (V10)or application to tax a heavy goods vehicle (V85)
- an MOT or goods vehicle testing (GVT) certificate (if you need one) - it must be valid when the new tax starts
- a cheque, postal order or banker’s draft to pay for your vehicle tax made payable to ‘DVLA Swansea’ - damaged or altered cheques will not be accepted.
Renew car tax online whilst away from home
If you don’t want to apply in advance, you can pay your vehicle tax online while you’re away from home.
What documents do I need to renew car tax online?
You’ll need the following to pay your car tax online:
- V5C vehicle registration certificate (log book) number
- vehicle registration number
From what date can I renew car tax online?
You can only renew car tax online from the 5th of the month that the renewal is due.
For example, you can pay road tax online from 5 March if your vehicle tax runs out on 31 March.
How much road tax will I have to pay?
How much you pay depends upon the tax band your car is in.
In an effort to reduce emissions and hit targets, the government taxes polluting cars more heavily.
Most expensive cars also pay more: if your car has a list price of more than £40,000, you’ll need to pay an extra £335 a year in VED - for five years from the second time that the vehicle is taxed..
The cleaner your car, the less road tax you’ll pay.
Do I need to pay road tax for my electric vehicle?
Since April 2020, zero emission battery EVs (BEVs) do not attract any VED at all - either in the first year or any subsequent year.
Cars registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 March 2017
*Includes cars with a CO2 figure over 225g/km but were registered before 23 March 2006.
Cars registered after 1 April 2017 – Charges for first year the vehicle is registered
Cars registered after 1 April 2017 – Standard annual charges for second year onward
Cars registered before 1st March 2001
In this case, the annual payable VED is based on engine size:
- For engines up to 1549cc - £170.00 per year.
- For engine sizes over 1549cc - £280.00 per year.
Road tax online payment options
When arranging your road tax online payment, there are three different options for road tax Direct Debit payment frequency.
You can choose to pay road tax to choose between:
- Monthly payments (12 instalments)
- Payments once every 6 months
- Paying once each year
The importance of paying VED
The most compelling reason for paying your VED is of course that it’s illegal not to.
Penalties for driving an untaxed car
If you’re caught driving without road tax, you’ll face a DVLA-imposed fine of £80.
There is a 50% discount if this is paid within 28 days. However, if the case goes to court, you could face a fine of up to £1,000 or five times the due road tax.
Why do we pay road tax in the UK?
Road tax (VED) is now part of the UK’s general taxation system and goes towards repairing and upgrading our road network.
What will happen if I drive my vehicle without taxing it?
If you drive an untaxed vehicle on a public road you could be fined up to £1,000 if caught.
If you are driving your vehicle to a pre-booked MOT test, this is an exception where you can legally drive your vehicle without tax.
For further details on driving without road tax, read our complete guide to driving without tax.
<p">In recent years there has been a rise in spam emails purporting to be from the DVLA and offering refunds on road tax payments.
In response to these scam emails, the DVLA said, “We don’t send emails or text messages that ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information, such as for a vehicle tax refund.
If you get anything like this, don’t open any links and delete the email or text immediately.”
What does SORN mean?
SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification. You must make one if you plan to stop using your car for a while - while ceasing payments of insurance and road tax (VED). Learn more about what is SORN and declaring a vehicle off the road.