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You can report unlicensed vehicles online through the DVLA website, see website in related information.

You can also contact your local police (via 101) although the procedure will vary from force to force. In some areas you will have to contact the local authority direct as they have a responsibility to remove such vehicles. In other force areas you need to contact the local police force first who in turn will contact the local authority. Your local police station will be able to advise you.

In all cases you will need the make and model of the car, the registration number and the location.


A number of vehicles are exempt from the requirement to pay tax - the main ones are:

  • Vehicles used by someone who is disabled
  • Electrically assisted pedal cycles
  • Vehicles going to/from a pre-arranged MOT - see Q360
  • Police, fire and ambulance vehicles
  • Mobility scooters/invalid carriages
  • Historic vehicles - vehicles constructed 40 or more years ago
  • Electric vehicles
  • Mowing machines
  • Steam-powered vehicles
  • Vehicles used for agriculture, horticulture and forestry
  • Gritters and snowploughs


Yes. Any driver who drives a vehicle, whether it belongs to them or not, has a responsibility to ensure that they are insured to drive the vehicle, that the vehicle is fully road legal, taxed and MOT'd.

If you are stopped by the police it is you as the driver who will face prosecution. Under certain circumstances the keeper may also be prosecuted.


Mechanically propelled vehicles on a public road are required to display number plates (number plate in the case of motorcycles). Covering the vehicle could prevent them from being seen and this would be an offence.

It would be legal to cover the vehicle as long as the registration plates could be seen. Clear plastic panels could be used in the appropriate places to enable the registration plates to be visible.


The legal requirement to display a tax disc on a vehicle ended on 1st October 2014. However, drivers with a Northern Ireland address will still need to display their MoT disc.

You can apply online to tax or SORN your vehicle using your 16 digit reference number from your vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11) or 11 digit reference number from your log book (V5C).

What this means to you
To drive or keep a vehicle on the road you will still need to get vehicle tax and the DVLA will still send you a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire. This applies to all types of vehicles including those that are exempt from payment of vehicle tax.

Buying a vehicle
When you buy a vehicle the vehicle tax is no longer transferred with it so you must tax your vehicle immediately before you drive it. You can do this by using the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online, by using the DVLA's automated phone service (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or at selected Post Offices – see Q911 for more information about these options.

Selling a vehicle
If you sell a vehicle and you have notified DVLA, you will automatically get a refund for any full calendar months left on the vehicle tax. If you fail to notify a change in the owner of a vehicle you could face a fine of up to £1000 and will still be liable for any speeding/parking fines and tax for the car.

Vehicle tax refunds
If you tell the DVLA you no longer have a vehicle or it's off-road, you'll get a refund for any full months of remaining tax. The refund is calculated from the date the DVLA receives the information and the payment will be sent to name and address in the vehicles registration document.

You must tell the DVLA if your vehicle has been:

  • sold or transferred
  • taken off-road - SORN
  • written off by your insurers
  • scrapped
  • stolen
  • exported
  • registered as an exempt vehicle

Paying vehicle tax by Direct Debit
As well as paying your car tax every 6 months or yearly, you can now pay by monthly direct debit. Provided an MOT remains valid, the 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.

If you do decide to pay by Direct Debit you will pay an extra 5%. So if your car tax costs £175 per year, you will pay an extra £8.75.

When the Direct Debit scheme can't be used
Paying by Direct Debit will not be available to:

  • first registration vehicles
  • fleet schemes
  • HGVs (paying the Road User Levy)

Checking the tax status of a vehicle
You can check the tax status of any vehicle online. This can also be used for rental vehicles.

Just because you don't have to display a tax disc doesn't mean you can get away with not paying it, if anything you're more likely to be caught now than before. The DVLA has a digital record of payments and a paper tax disc is no longer necessary as proof. Automatic number plate recognition cameras will spot you if you haven't paid your tax.




DVLA's enforcement action is normally against the registered keeper and not the driver, but as a driver you do have a legal responsibility to ensure the vehicle you are in is road legal. You can check that a vehicle is taxed online at


Buyers can use the 24/7 online or phone services to tax their vehicle at the point of sale - confirmation of tax is provided when the vehicle is taxed.

To tax your vehicle online go to - you'll need one of the following:

  • 16 digit reference number on your vehicle tax renewal letter (V11)
  • 11 digit reference number on your log book (V5C)
  • Or, if you've just bought the vehicle, the 12 digit reference number on your new keeper supplement (V5C/2)

If your vehicle is quite old, it may have a reference number of fewer than 12 digits, in which case you should contact the DVLA via the link below:

Taxing a vehicle by phone is slightly different. It's an automated 24/7 service that the DVLA says should only take three to four minutes - but you can't pay by Direct Debit via the phone service. You'll need to enter the same information that you would when applying for tax online i.e. reference number on either the V5C or the V11 and pay via your credit/ debit card. The number is 0300 123 4321 (textphone 0300 790 6201) - calls are charged at the local rate.

You can still tax your vehicle at the Post Office - make sure you check before you go, not all of them still tax vehicles. You'll need to take:

  • your completed V11 reminder, V5C or new keeper supplement (V5C/2)
  • your MOT test certificate if required (must be valid when the tax starts)
  • the payment shown on the reminder

In Northern Ireland, you'll also need an insurance certificate or cover note.


When a vehicle is sold, scrapped or the registered keeper has declared SORN, the registered keeper will get an automatic refund for any outstanding full calendar months of tax that remain. Therefore, it's important that you notify the DVLA of any changes to your details – to do this you must:

  • Write the new details in section 6 of your V5C (joint names or Post Office box addresses are not allowed).
  • Sign and date the declaration in section 8.
  • Send the whole V5C to the following address – DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.

What information do I need to provide to the DVLA if I sell my car?

When you sell or transfer your vehicle you must notify the DVLA straight away using the V5C part of your registration document. Remember by law, it is the seller's responsibility to tell the DVLA about the change of keeper. If you don't do this you commit an offence and you will still be liable for the vehicle.

 Selling to a private buyer
If you have your V5C registration document you need to:

  • Fill in sections 6
  • Sign and date the declaration in section 8 along with the new keeper
  • Fill in section 10 (V5C/2) and give it to the new keeper – they will need this to tax the vehicle
  • Keep a record of the new keeper's name and address
  • Tear off section 1 to 8 (V5C) and send it to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA

 Selling to a private buyer
If you don't have your V5C registration document you need to write to the DVLA via the following address DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA, and give them the following details:

  • The vehicle's registration number, its make and model
  • The name and address of the new keeper
  • The date when you sold it
  • Your signature

You should check that the new keeper sends a completed form V62 (application for new registration certificate) to the DVLA – if they don't do this the police could contact you about the vehicle. Form V62 us available via the link below:

Application for a vehicle registration certificate

Note that if you buy a vehicle without a V5C certificate you can't tax it and drive it on public roads until you get a replacement.

Selling to a motor trader
You must fill in section 9 of the V5C and send it to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD – the motor trader does not require this section and should not keep it. You should then give the rest of the V5C to the motor trader. Remember it is your responsibility to ensure that section 9 is sent to the DVLA – this is the case even if the trader offers to do it for you. In the event that the motor trader keeps the whole of the V5C, you should send a signed letter to the DVLA that confirms who you passed the vehicle to (motor trader's details) and the date that this occurred.

You can also notify the DVLA via the link below:

DVLA- Sold/Bought Vehicle


From 1st April 2017, the way that vehicle tax is calculated and its cost will change for cars and some motor homes.

Vehicles registered before 1st April 2017
If your vehicle was registered before 1st April 2017, you won't be affected by the new rules – you can use the link below to find the amount of vehicle tax you'll pay:

Vehicles registered from 1st April 2017
The first time you tax your vehicle i.e. for the first year, the amount you pay is based on your vehicle's CO2 emissions – you can check how much you'll have to pay by using the link below:

The second and subsequent times i.e. after the first year, you tax your vehicle the amount you pay will depend on the type of vehicle you have. You'll pay:

  • £140 a year for normal petrol or diesel vehicles
  • £130 a year for alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, bi -ethanol and LPG )
  • £0 a year for vehicles with zero CO2 emissions

This means that for new vehicles, you'll pay more vehicle tax in the first year but a lower annual rate (£140 for most cars) thereafter.

New vehicles costing more than £40 000
If you buy a vehicle that has a list price (the published price before any discounts) of more than £40,000, the amount you pay for your vehicle tax the first time will be based on CO2 emissions – see the link below for the cost:

When you tax your vehicle for a second time i.e. after the first year, you'll pay one of the new rates that depend on the type of vehicle (petrol, diesel, alternative fuel or zero emissions), plus an extra £310 per year for the next 5 years. After this you'll be taxed at one of the new rates i.e. £140, £130 or £0, depending on the type of vehicle.

Discounts on vehicle tax for those claiming benefits
If you claim benefits the link below explains about the discounts you may be entitled to and how to apply for them:


No - if you drive/park a vehicle on the road that is not taxed or insured you will be committed two offences and your vehicle could be seized.

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