Blue tax discs

How to Check if Your Car Has Been Taxed

In 2013, the UK government made the bold move to abolish tax discs from 2014 onwards. The decision was made in order to cut down on the associated tasks and costs around printing and postage, but now we live in a post-tax disc world, how do we make sure our car has been taxed?

How do I check if my car has been taxed?

You can easily do a free tax check by going online to the government website.

All you need to do is fill in your number plate; the site will then ask you to confirm the car model and colour they have on record. Once you confirm that these details are correct, you will see if your car is currently taxed, when your car tax is next due, as well as if your car has an in-date MOT, and when its next one is due. It’s important to note that this tool can be used to tax a motorbike, a van or really any vehicle!

You may also be reminded to tax your vehicle with a V11 reminder letter.

What is a V11 reminder?

A V11 reminder is a letter sent by the DVLA around three weeks before a vehicle is due to be taxed. This is a great resource for registered car users – it provides a window of opportunity to re-tax their vehicle for the year ahead, or give notice on the car being sold or taken off the road (in a Statutory Off Road Notification, otherwise known as SORN).

With a V11 reminder, you have the chance to decide whether you want to renew your tax online, at a designated Post Office, or by phone. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to pay using Direct Debit if you tax your vehicle over the phone.

How can I tax my car?

You can tax your car and pay for it upfront either online, by phone, or at a designated Post Office branch. If paying online or in-branch at a Post Office, you will have the option to pay annually, biannually, or monthly. There is a small 5% surcharge on biannual and monthly Direct Debit payments, however this is half of the 10% surcharge that was previously applied to biannual tax discs.

All in all, the best overall car tax value will be for those who pay the total sum upfront. You can find our frequently asked questions around car tax, here.

Who is exempt from paying car tax?

Before we dig into this, let us clear up some inevitable confusion – some people are exempt from paying car tax, but every vehicle must be taxed. What this means is that while some drivers won’t pay a penny to tax their car, they must still go through the process and ensure the tax forms are completed.

The vehicle that are exempt from tax payments include:

  • Vehicles used by a disabled person
  • Vehicles (apart from ambulances) used by organisations for the transport of disabled people
  • Vehicles made before 1983
  • Mobility vehicles & powered wheelchairs, if they have a maximum road speed of 8mph and are limited to 4mph on footpaths
  • Electric vehicles that source their power from hydrogen fuel cells, external sources like public or private chargepoints or an electric battery that’s not connected to any power source while the vehicle is moving (hybrid vehicles are not exempt)
  • Grass mowing machines (but tractors used to tow gang mowers are not included)
  • Steam powered vehicles
  • Agricultural, horticultural or forestry vehicles including tractors, agricultural engines, light off-road agricultural vehicles and ‘limited use’ vehicles that don’t travel more than 1.5km on the road.

Another way of making your vehicle exempt is to SORN it, but this requires it to be taken off the public roadway and stored on private land.

Car tax changes for 2023

As of April 2023, tax rates increased, meaning you could now be paying more money each year to keep your car on the road legally. These changes were made in line with inflation rates and leave the maximum annual first-year tax bill at £2,605. The tax price for individual cars will be calculated based on its emission output.

From April 2025, electric vehicle drivers can expect to start paying car tax too, with the maximum annual price being £370 (for those whose car is worth £40,000 or more).

Why were car tax discs abolished?

In 2013, car tax discs were abolished to cut down on tax administration burdens and costs. This move was part of an overall effort to offer a more streamlined service for the general public, with the DVLA ruling that the migration of car tax online would ultimately help vehicle users and the police to have a central, digital resource.

With the police having access to DVLA records via the Police National Computer (PNC) and on-road police vehicles using Automatic Number Plate Readers (otherwise known as ANPRs), the process of tax monitoring has ultimately become easier for public services. With the implementation of digitised tax records, police services can more easily pull up those driving illegally in untaxed vehicles.

Blue tax discs

What tax band is my car in?

Check your car tax band via the DVLA. You can do this very easily by going to the site to get vehicle information from the DVLA. All you need is your number plate to get started. You can use this service to find out all the basic information the DVLA holds about your vehicle. Finding out the tax band be a useful exercise if you’re in the process of purchasing a car, because no doubt this expense will factor into your budget.

Is car tax transferable?

No, you cannot transfer car tax from one car to another. This has been the law since 2014. However, you can claim back unused road tax when selling your car. This is done by applying for a road tax refund with the DVLA.

Why choose Scrap Car Comparison to scrap your vehicle?

If scrap your car, you won’t need to pay car tax on it. That’s just one of the reasons to consider it though.

Here at Scrap Car Comparison, we work with vetted and professional buyers who have all been checked for quality of service and customer satisfaction ratings.

When you enter your vehicle’s registration and your post code into our Scrap Car Calculator, you can be certain that you will receive quotes from trusted and reliable buyers who can scrap your car in a hassle-free way.

All our scrappage quotes are guaranteed prices with no hidden charges, and you will also get free collection from our professional buyers.

To see what you can get for your scrap car from local and vetted buyers in your area, use our Scrap Car Calculator or get in touch with our UK experts on 03333 44 99 50.

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