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Vehicle Tax FAQs

IsMyCar hopes to answer your frequently asked questions regarding Vehicle Tax (or Car Tax as it’s often referred to)

Remember – to drive on the the UK roads your car, bike or van must have valid Vehicle Tax. The majority of drivers have to pay to tax their vehicle. However, certain vehicles may be exempt from Vehicle Tax

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Is Vehicle Tax Transferable

No. Under the current rules it is the responsibility of the new owner to get their vehicle taxed. If you are buying the vehicle from a garage you may ask them to do it for you or you may do it online or over the phone before collecting the vehicle. Similarly, it is up to the previous owner to apply for a refund for any full months remaining on their existing vehicle tax. If you have sold your car or registered it as SORN (statutory off road notice) then you can request a vehicle tax refund here (

What does Vehicle Tax Pay For

Road Tax, Car Tax or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is paid in to a consolidated fund. It is NOT – contrary to popular belief – all spent on maintaining and building roads.

Prior to establishing the consolidated fund in 1937 road tax was indeed paid directly in to a pot ring fenced for use in building and maintaining roads. However – since 1937 – how the money (as much as £6 Billion) is spent is determined by Westminster. The actual money spent on maining and building roads is managed and paid for from our local and general taxes.

What happens if I drive without Vehicle Tax

Not paying your vehicle tax (or claiming vehicle tax exemption) could cost you lot of money – and even worse it could lead to your car being clamped or crushed by the DVLA. Initially you will receive a fine (of £80 in July 2018) and you’ll also have to pay for any months that have elapsed since the vehicle tax expired. If you can’t remember if your vehicle tax is valid check it here

Can I drive without Vehicle Tax

No – with one exception. You cannot tax a vehicle if it does not have a valid MOT. To get an MOT you will have to get your vehicle to an MOT test centre. If you have a formerly booked MOT test appointment you may drive directly to the test centre. Other than this one exception – aside from vehicle that are tax exempt – everyone driving on the roads must have vehicle tax.

How do I pay for Vehicle Tax

The easiest way is to do it online at Tax your car, motorcycle or other vehicle using a reference number from:

  • a recent reminder (V11) or ‘last chance’ warning letter from DVLA
  • your vehicle log book (V5C) – it must be in your name
  • the green ‘new keeper’s details’ slip (V5C/2) from a log book if you’ve just bought it

You can pay by debit or credit card, or Direct Debit.

Alternatively you may apply for vehicle tax on the phone by calling – Telephone: 0300 123 4321 – or at any local Post Office. You will need your V5C – in your name – or your New Keeper’s V5C/2 and a valid MOT if applicable. You can check your MOT here

Remember – you must tax your vehicle even if you don’t have to pay anything – for example – if you’re exempt because you’re disabled.

How Much is Vehicle Tax (2018)

For cars registered after April 1st 2017 vehicle tax ranges from £0 to £2070. The level of vehicle tax you have to pay is directly related to the CO2 emissions of your car. For the latest pricing please check directly with here

For cars registered between March 1st 2001 and 31st March 2017 vehicle tax ranges from £0 to £555. The level of vehicle tax you have to pay is directly related to the CO2 emissions of your car. For the latest pricing please check directly with here

Which cars pay just £30 Vehicle Tax

For cars registered between 1st March 2001 and 31st March 2017 cars with CO2 emissions of 111 to 120 only have to pay £30 vehicle tax. Vehicles with CO2 emissions of 101 to 110 pay just £20 and those with CO2 levels under 100 pay nothing > £0


For cars registered after 1st April 2017 – if your car has an exhaust pip you can expect to pay tax. Cars with CO2 emissions of between 1-50 do get away with just £10, 51-75 > £25, 76-90 > £105 and it goes on increasing. More details can be found on the site

How do I get a Vehicle Tax refund

If you have sold the car and wish to reclaim any unused months of vehicle tax request a vehicle tax refund here