Vehicle tax changes: What you need to know

Tax disc




You may have heard that the Vehicle Tax disc is being abolished from October 1. You still need to tax your car, but there is no need to display the tax disc on your windscreen. Here, we answer any questions you may have about these changes, including details on what to do if you drive a Toyota hybrid.

How do I tax my car in light of the changes?

To tax your vehicle using your 16 digit reference number from your vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11 or V85/1) or 11 digit reference number from your log book (V5C), visit the driving and transportation section of the Gov.UK website.

Do the changes differ in Northern Ireland?

Drivers with a Northern Ireland address will no longer need to display a tax disk, however they will still need to display their MoT disc.

What happens to my existing tax disc?

If you have a tax disc with any months left to run after October 1, then it can be removed from your car and destroyed.

How will I know when my tax is due for renewal?

The DVLA will send you a V11 or V85/1 renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire. This includes our hybrid vehicles which are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty.

How do I complete a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) for my car?

If you need to complete a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) because you don’t use or keep your vehicle on a public road, you will need to visit the ‘Make a SORN‘ section of the Gov.UK website.

What happens when I buy a car?

When you buy a car, the vehicle tax will no longer be transferred with the vehicle. You will need to get new vehicle tax before you can use the car.

You can tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online or by using our automated phone service – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0300 123 4321. You can also do this by visiting a Post Office® branch.

If you’re a Northern Ireland new keeper, you will need to tax at a Post Office® branch that deals with vehicle tax.

What happens when I sell a car? 

From 1 October, vehicle tax is not transferable so you won’t be able to include any remaining tax when you sell a vehicle. If you sell a vehicle after 1 October and you have notified DVLA, you will automatically get a refund for any full remaining months left on the vehicle tax. The refund will be sent to the keepers details on DVLA records so you need to make sure that these are correct.

How do I qualify for a tax refund and how do I get it?

You no longer need to make a separate application for a refund of vehicle tax. The DVLA will automatically issue a refund when a notification is received from the person named on DVLA vehicle register that the:

  • Vehicle has been sold or transferred
  • Vehicle has been scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility
  • Vehicle has been exported
  • Vehicle has been removed from the road and the person on the vehicle register has made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)
  • Person on the vehicle register has changed the tax class on the vehicle to an exempt duty tax class
  •  Parking permits or car parking spaces
  •  All local authorities have been informed that no tax discs will be issued after 1 October 2014.
  • What happens if I need to drive my car abroad?

    The DVLA have informed the European Union that from 1 October 2014, UK registered vehicles that are travelling in the EU will not display tax discs, so you need take no action.

    Can I pay my vehicle tax via direct debit?

    Yes, from 1 October 2014 (5 October if setting up at a Post Office®), Direct Debit will be offered as an additional way to pay for vehicle tax. This will be available for customers who need to tax their vehicle from 1 November 2014:

  • Annually
  • 6 monthly
  • Monthly (12 months tax paid for on a monthly basis)
  • Tax will be automatically renewed and the Direct Debit payments will continue to be taken providing an MOT is in place at the point of tax renewal. Payments will continue automatically until you tell DVLA to stop taking them or you cancel the Direct Debit with your bank. Valid insurance should also be in place for vehicles registered in Northern Ireland.

    The Direct Debit will be cancelled and payments automatically stopped when you tell DVLA that you no longer have the vehicle, or the vehicle has been taken off the road and a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) has been made. The Direct Debit will also be cancelled if a vehicle is scrapped by an ATF, exported or if the tax class of the vehicle is changed to an exempt duty tax class.

    Are there any exclusions to paying via direct debit?

    You will not be able to pay your vehicle tax on:

  • First registration vehicles
  • Fleet vehicles licensed in bulk schemes – Direct Debit can be set up on fleet vehicles individually
  • HGVs that pay the Road User Levy (all other HGVs can pay by Direct Debit)
  • How do I check to see if my tax is due for renewal?

    You can check the tax status of any vehicle on the designated section of the DVLA website.

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