This section explains how to set up vehicle tax Direct Debit payments and how to change or cancel them. It is a simple way to pay road fund tax by Direct Debit payment.
DIRECT DEBIT SET UP: The best time for setting up this type of payment system is when you are taxing a vehicle.
You can set up road tax Direct Debit payments either online or at one of the larger Post Office branches.
You do not need to be the registered keeper of the vehicle to set it up.
You can choose between three different frequencies of debit payments.
Thus, it is the frequency of the payments that determines the total amount vehicle tax rates that you will pay.
If you choose to pay monthly, or once every six (6) months, there is a 5% surcharge. But, if you make one single payment every year there will be no surcharge to pay.
When you set up a Direct Debit payment system you are going to need some information such as:
Note: Some bank or building society accounts need two signatures (e.g. joint accounts). You cannot use this type of account for setting up Direct Debit for road tax payments.
Note: The DVLA send emails and correspondence letters about vehicle tax Direct Debit payments to the account holder.
Once the vehicle tax Direct Debit is set up it will renew by automatic process when the road tax is due to expire. The DVLA will send an email or a letter informing you when the payment will get taken. Thus, you will not receive a V11 (vehicle tax reminder letter).
Note: Each time the tax gets renewed the vehicle keeper must have a V5C vehicle logbook. Do not tax a vehicle again yourself. Doing so means you will get charged twice.
Direct Debits do not renew as planned if DVLA do not have a registered keeper for the vehicle in their records. But, you can give DVLA details of the registered keeper online.
Note: You should contact the DVLA if you do not get an email or a letter from them when the vehicle tax runs out.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency keep records on vehicle MOT certifications. Thus, they will write to you if the MOT certificate will have expired by the time the vehicle tax is due to renew.
Your vehicle will need to pass an MOT test by the time the current testing certificate runs out. DVLA records get updated by automatic process once it passes. Following that, the car tax will renew on the date that it was due to run out.
That means you will not need to contact the DVLA or get your vehicle taxed again by yourself. But, you will need to tax the vehicle if you fail to get an MOT in time.
Note: The vehicle insurance law is different in Northern Ireland. You must have some insurance in place to renew the road fund tax.
You can change the address, email, or the name used on a car tax Direct Debit. But, you must inform the DVLA and you can do it by phone if you:
It is not uncommon for people to change names by deed poll in the United Kingdom. If so, you can write a letter to the DVLA telling them:
Send all this information to:
There are three different options for road tax Direct Debit payment frequency. You get to choose between:
Note: The DVLA take payments on the first working day of each month. There is no option to change this to a different day of the month.
But, you can change how often the payment gets taken off the road tax Direct Debit. So, you could change from paying every 6 months to a monthly payment instead.
In this case, you would have to cancel the existing Direct Debit and then make sure the vehicle has tax. The next step would be to:
In most cases, you can change the account that the Direct Debit gets taken from. To set this up you can either:
Most UK banking institutions can move Direct Debits from an old account to a new one. In this case, you would not need to inform the DVLA or do anything further.
Note: The Current Account Switch Service moves current accounts between banks and building societies. The service is free-to-use and available to individuals, small businesses, charities and trusts.
Some banks can move a Direct Debit from one account to another if both accounts are with them. You should check with your particular bank. Contact the DVLA if this is not possible or if the two accounts are with different banks.
The DVLA will send an email to the Direct Debit account holder if a payment fails. The usual reason for this would be if there are insufficient funds in the account. They will try to take the payment once more within four working days. If the payment does not transfer, the DVLA email will inform you:
If the DVLA decide to cancel a road fund Direct Debit you will need the vehicle log book (V5C) to tax it. Following that, you should either:
Note: Under the UK driving laws it is illegal to drive a vehicle on public roads if it does not have road tax.
You must either tax it or SORN a vehicle to inform the DVLA that it is off the road. Failing to do so will result in a fine of £80. You will also need to pay for any time that it was not taxed.
There are several reasons why the DVLA will cancel a vehicle tax Direct Debit. It will get cancelled if you tell them that the vehicle got:
It will also get cancelled if the vehicle has road tax exemption. Thus, if you inform the DVLA that:
DVLA send a road tax refund cheque by automatic process for any full months left on the vehicle tax. They will calculate the refund from the date they get the information from you.
You might end up cancelling a Direct Debit a day or so before a monthly payment is due. In this case, the DVLA may still take the payment. But, they will send a refund within ten (10) working days if it happens.
How to Pay Vehicle Tax by Direct Debit in the United Kingdom