According to the law, if you use or keep a vehicle on the UK’s roads, it must be taxed. If you’re not currently using the vehicle and it’s kept off the road, it must either be taxed or you have to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to register it as off the road.
If you evade road tax, your vehicle could be clamped or impounded and you could be fined or face court action. So it’s important to ensure that your vehicle is taxed on time, and the DVLA make it very easy to do. However, there are several myths about Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), more usually known as road tax, which we’ll clarify here for you.
"You need to pay road tax up front each year"
False! Providing your vehicle is insured and has a valid MOT if needed, you can set up a direct debit when using the DVLA’s online road tax service. With a direct debit, you can pay the tax monthly, six monthly or annually to suit your financial needs.
And you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay your road tax as the direct debit automatically renews when your tax is about to run out, as long as you’re the registered keeper and you have insurance and an MOT. Set up a direct debit today for your peace of mind.
"You don’t need to do anything if your vehicle’s exempt from road tax"
Also wrong! Even if your vehicle is exempt from VED, meaning you don’t have to pay anything, you still have to tax it. You can check if your vehicle is exempt on the DVLA website. If your vehicle is newly exempt from road tax, if you become disable for example, you must change its tax class.
"You can’t drive a vehicle to an MOT test if it’s declared as SORN"
Incorrect. Provided you’ve 'pre-booked' an MOT test, you can drive a vehicle that’s registered off the road directly to the test centre.
"You can’t tax a car you’ve just bought because the log book is not in your name"
Yes, you can. When you buy a vehicle you can tax it immediately using the green “new keeper” section of the V5C registration document, commonly known as the log book. Remember that road tax is not transferable, so you need to tax the vehicle before you drive it.
You can’t tax your vehicle without a V11 vehicle tax reminder form
Again, yes you can. Even if you don’t receive a V11 road tax reminder, you can use the document reference number on your V5C (log book) to tax your vehicle. The DVLA online service makes paying road tax easy, but you can also apply for it at most Post Offices.
Make Sure to Correctly Register Your Personalised Number Plates
When you buy personalised number plates from the millions available on the CarReg database, you need to register them with the DVLA which changes the road tax to the new and correct registration number.