On October 1 2014 the DVLA made road tax non-transferable, a move that caused some confusion for those buying and selling used cars. However, most drivers are now familiar with the change.
Taxing your car can be done 24 hours a day using the government's online system at www.gov.uk/tax-disc. One of the following is required to pay your road tax:
- 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
Some older cars may have a reference number of fewer than 12 digits. In this case, to arrange your road tax renewal you should make contact with the DVLA through this link: https://www.gov.uk/contact-the-dvla
Yes, 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 payment by Direct Debit by phone. Locale rate charges apply.
Most Post Offices still let you pay your road tax at the counter. You can pay by debit/credit card, or Direct Debit. 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.
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
If you're exempt from paying road tax - e.g. because you're disabled or your vehicle was built before 1 January 1979 - your vehicle must still be taxed.
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 £310 a year in VED - for five years.
The cleaner your car, the less road tax you’ll pay. Since April 2020, zero emission battery EVs (BEVs) do not attract any VED at all - either in the first year or any subsequent year.
Car emission band
Standard cost (£)
Cost for first year (£)
Band A (up to 100 g/km)
Band B (101–110 g/km)
Band C (111–120 g/km)
Band D (121–130 g/km)
Band E (131–140 g/km)
Band F (141- 150 g/km)
Band G (151 to 165 g/km)
Band H (166 to 175 g/km)
Band I (176 to 185 g/km)
Band J (186 to 200 g/km)
Band K (201 to 225 g/km)
Also vehicles with >225 g/km registered before 23 March 2006.
Band L (226 to 255 g/km)
Band M (Over 255 g/km)
Registered after 1 April 2017
Emissions rating (g/CO2/km)
First year rate
Cars registered before 1st March 2001
In this case, the annual payable VED is based on engine size:
- For engines up to 1549cc - £145.00 per year.
- For engine sizes over 1549cc - £235.00 per year.
The most compelling reason for paying your VED is of course that it’s illegal not to. 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.
Road tax (VED) is now part of the UK’s general taxation system and goes towards repairing and upgrading our road network.
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.
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.