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Taxing Your Vehicle

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 3 Jul 2019 | comments*Discuss
Road Tax Renewal Car Tax Tax Disc Tax

You cannot drive a motor vehicle on a public road in the United Kingdom without having: valid road tax (Vehicle Excise Duty); vehicle insurance and an MOT certificate (the latter applies only to vehicles more than 3 years old).

Why Pay Road Tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) and Where Does the Money Go?

Firstly it's illegal not to pay it. As for where it goes, well it's shared out along with other taxes we pay, but it's safe to say that a lot of it goes towards our road infrastructure, widening, building bridges and so on. Some of it is also used by local councils and the Highways Agency for repairing and resurfacing roads and for the creation of parking facilities.

How to Tax Your Car

Shortly before your tax is due for renewal, you will be sent a reminder from the DVLA, a V11 form. You can use this form to renew either online, by phone, or at participationg Post Offices. If you're renewing at a Post Office, you will need to take with you:
  • Your renewal form
  • A current insurance certificate
  • A current MOT certificate
  • Payment

If you are renewing your car tax online or by phone, then you will just need the reference number from the reminder and the means to pay by debit or credit card.

Length of Time and Fee

You will have the option to pay for six months or for the full twelve month period. Generally (and perhaps unfairly) - if you pay for six months at time it is more expensive than paying for the whole year in one go. The fees vary depending upon the age and engine size (plus CO2 emissions) of your vehicle. Your reminder will tell you how much you should pay, but you can find out online or at a Post Office if you do not have a reminder.

Tax Disc

When you have completed the renewal process you will be given a current tax disc to display in your windscreen. At the Post Office you'll be given this immediately, but if you've rewewed online, you'll need to wait for a few days before the new disc arrives.

Necessary Documents

To drive on the roads you must have valid insurance, tax and MOT - if you renew your tax disc at the Post Office you will be expected to have your original insurance and MOT certificates as copies will not be accepted. In recent years insurance companies have had to record all motor insurance policy details on the Motor Insurance Database (MID), so the DVLA has a record of whether a car has valid insurance or not. This is why when you renew online you do not have to provide your insurance details. A similar system operates for MOT certificates. Each time a registered MOT centre issues a new MOT certificate in respect of a vehicle, they submit the details to a central computer operated by the VOSA (Vehicle Operater and Standards Agency).

What if I Haven't Got a Reminder?

If you haven't received a renewal notice, or you've lost it, then you can renew online, by post, or at the Post Office. If you renew online or by phone, you will have to have your Vehicle Registration Document (V5c) number and your car's registration number and means of payment. You will only be able to do this online or by phone if details of your insurance and MOT are held on the government's databases.

If you decide to renew at a Post Office without a renewal reminder you will have to complete form V10 and have with you:

  • Valid MOT certificate
  • Valid Insurance Documents
  • Vehicle Logbook (V5)

If you do not have a registration document - for example if you have just purchased the car - the previous owner of the vehicle should give you the new keeper's supplement part of the registration document (V5c) which you should take with you to the Post office, along with the other documents listed above.

When Will I Get My Reminder?

The DVLA will send you a V11 reminder around three weeks before your current tax is due to expire. You can renew your car tax from the fifth of the month in which the tax disc is due to expire.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi everyone recently found out my car has no tax and the v5 form is out of date any ideas I’d i can still tax it at the post office as I can not online with it been out of date thanks
Melady - 3-Jul-19 @ 10:18 PM
@Quinny. If you are the registered owner you will receive an automatic reminder from the DVLA and you can rewew your tax using the reference number on the reminder document. If you don't have this and have not got a V5 nor ever had one, you need to apply to the DVLA for a new one - you may need proof of ownership etc.
YourDrivingLicence - 6-Jan-15 @ 1:41 PM
Iv got no v5 form for my car how sonic tax it??
Quinny - 2-Jan-15 @ 9:58 PM
@Pixel. Yes as long as you have your registration document (V5) number.
YourDrivingLicence - 30-Sep-14 @ 10:39 AM
I haven't had a reminder can I still tax my car on line
Pixel - 28-Sep-14 @ 2:40 PM
@Sam. Wait another couple of days for your V11 reminder. If it does not arrive and you have your registration document (V5) then you can renew online with the number off that. more details are here
YourDrivingLicence - 18-Sep-14 @ 2:05 PM
Like many websites, this information about re-taxing your car at a participating Post Office is incorrect. The Certificate of Insurance is NOT NEEDED. I was at a Post Office today, and was told this. What a pity that people who create information websites like this, do not know thefacts themselves.If you really don't know, stay off the computer and take up Knitting instead
Bill - 17-Sep-14 @ 6:24 PM
My tax is less than 2 weeks away from expiring and I have not received my renewal form (V11 form). How do I go about getting one ?
Sam - 17-Sep-14 @ 12:41 PM
Unable to renew tax wef 01/10/2014 on line as no record of MOT found. Car has current MOT which expires in 6 days time on 17/09/2014. Does MOT have to be valid beyond 01/10/2014 to renew on line even tho' car has valid MOT at time of application?
Jnr - 11-Sep-14 @ 11:06 AM
can a learner driver, accompanied by a qualified driver, carry passengers?
banner - 2-Oct-12 @ 8:18 PM
can a learner driver,,accompanied by a fully licensed driver, carry a passenger (s)
banner - 2-Oct-12 @ 8:13 PM
how long will i have to wait for my car log book
khanny - 6-Jul-12 @ 1:38 PM
buying a car this week want to put six months road tax on but realise I will lose best part of a month. Can I tax for six months plus 1 week?
Chris - 25-Jun-12 @ 7:56 AM
I will buy a car that should be registered for my company, what paperwork is needed to tax that car?
nirita - 26-May-12 @ 12:43 PM
i'm looking as to buying a car in the uk on dutch plates, the seller says it dosn't need tax as is still on dutch mot which includes tax is this right. The mot runs out in october, am i safe to insure the car and drive it till september on english roads and in the isle of man?
sjd - 5-May-12 @ 9:15 PM
ive bought a motorbike without log book and no tax but mot on it done a history check and its fine but im worrying now that will get fine cos its not taxed and i cant tax it because im waiting for log bok to come been told it will take up to 2-6 weeks anyone have any advice please
egg - 30-Oct-11 @ 3:59 PM
I renewed my driving licence on line. Now I have tried to tax the car after a SORN, but am informed they do not know my car!
non8useless - 17-Mar-11 @ 12:31 PM
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