The UK Rules
Taxing a Car or other Vehicle

How to Tax a Car or Motorcycle

UK road fund tax is non-transferable on used motors at the point of sale. This guide explains how to tax a vehicle for the first time or after buying a second hand car.

TAX YOUR VEHICLE: To get a car, motorcycle, or other vehicle taxed you need a reference number from either:

There are several ways to pay when taxing a vehicle in United Kingdom. You can either pay using a debit or credit card or you can set up a Direct Debit payment system.

You must tax your vehicle to use it on public roads in Great Britain. This applies even if there is no fee to pay (e.g. if a disabled driver has a vehicle exempt from road tax).

Note: You must meet all the legal obligations for motorists before driving the vehicle. There is a Welsh language version for those who need to know how to tax a car or a motorcycle in Wales.

Changing the Tax Class to or from Disabled

The process for taxing a car differs if you need to change the vehicle tax class, such as when:

Note: In cases such as these you will need to apply for vehicle tax at a Post Office instead of taxing it online.

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Other Methods of Taxing a Vehicle

DVLA Vehicle Tax Service by Phone
Telephone: 0300 123 4321
24-hour service
Check a list of phone call rates.

Note: You will be unable to pay by Direct Debit if you apply for road tax over the phone.

How to Tax a Car at a Post Office

You will need to visit a Post Office that handles vehicle tax (e.g. one of the bigger branches). When you tax a car at a Post Office, unless your car is exempt, you will need to take either:

The Post Office will also need to see one of the following:

You will need to get a new V5C log book if you do not have either of the required documents. In some cases, you also will need the valid MOT test certificate.

Note: It often takes a few days for MOT information to get updated at DVLA. Thus, you may not be able to tax a vehicle immediately after it passes the test. You will also need a vehicle insurance certificate or a cover note to tax a car in Northern Ireland.

Vehicles kept 'Off the Road'

You will not need to tax a vehicle if you keep it off the road (e.g. in a garage or on a driveway). Even so, you must make a SORN declaration with DVLA to get it registered as 'off the road'.

How to Tax a Car or Motorcycle in the United Kingdom