A vehicle tax reminder document of a desk with car keys and money.

Can you tax a vehicle without insurance?

The tax reminder letter is one of those pieces of post that no driver likes to receive (unless you’re someone whose car is tax exempt), with the annual cost sometimes bringing a tear to the eye of those penny pinching. But what happens if it’s time to tax your car but your insurance has also lapsed? Scrap Car Comparison guides you through the situation.

It’s said nothing in life is certain except death and taxes, and if your car has died before it’s time to tax it, then you could get a nice lump of cash in your bank account courtesy of Scrap Car Comparison. We’ll scour the market to find the very best offer for your car, and we’ll even arrange for a free collection, meaning it’ll be taken away for recycling direct from a location convenient to you.

What do you need to tax a vehicle?

To tax your vehicle you’ll need to have a reference number from one of the following: 

  • Your recent tax reminder (or ‘last chance’ warning) from the DVLA
  • The vehicle’s V5C log book – which must be in your name
  • The green ‘new keeper’ slip from the log book if you’ve just bought it

As well as one of these documents you’ll also need to ensure your car is insured before you tax it. Even if your tax bill is a nil charge, you still need to tax the vehicle as driving without tax is a crime.

Can you tax a car without insurance?

Simply put, no. You don’t need to have your insurance documents to hand, but you’ll need to have a policy in place in order to be able to tax the vehicle. The DVLA’s Motor Insurance Database will know if your car has a valid MOT and is insured, and this information is used when taxing your car.  If you’re taxing your vehicle at a Post Office in Northern Ireland, you will need your insurance document or cover note.

Can I tax a car with temporary insurance?

The rule is that you must have insurance at the time you tax your car, so even if your car is insured only temporarily, you will be able to tax it. However, remember that once that insurance expires you will need to renew it before you drive again, otherwise this will be breaking the law for driving without insurance. If you are taxing your car having acquired temporary insurance, just remember it can sometimes take a couple of days for the DVLA’s database to update, and even if the specialist insurer says that they update the Motor Insurance Database more regularly than most, it can still take a day to show up on the system.

How long can you drive without road tax?

Contrary to popular belief and urban legend, there is no such thing as a tax ‘grace period’. Much like with an MOT, once your tax has expired, your car can no longer legally be driven on the road. However, there is an exception to the rule, and that is if you are driving to a pre-booked MOT appointment. Like insurance, it is not possible to tax a car without a valid MOT, but be prepared to prove where you are driving if you are pulled over, so have that booking confirmation to hand – printed out if possible.

Can I drive my car home if I’ve just bought it?

Yes, but you must first have completed all the paperwork. This means the car must both be taxed and insured in your name. Usually when dealing with a large dealership this should be sorted for you, but if buying privately, you’ll need to have all of this squared away before you are able to drive off.

If your car is looking a little worse for wear and your insurers don’t even want to consider it, then perhaps it’s time to let it go and get some money while you can. By using Scrap Car Comparison, you’re guaranteed to get the very best price no matter what condition your car is in, and with collection agents operating in 99% of all UK postcodes, we’ll even take it from you absolutely free of charge. Get started today and find out just how much your car could be worth in as little as 60 seconds.

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