Car tax

Article reviewed: 2013/01/25 | Next review due: 2014/08/13

About three weeks before your tax disc runs out, you should get a ‘Vehicle Licence Application/Statutory Off Road Notification’ (V11 reminder) from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Use the V11 reminder to renew your tax online, by phone, by post or in person.

When to apply, with a reminder

If you receive a V11 renewal from DVLA, you can use this to renew your tax disc or make a SORN. You can do this from the fifth day of the month that your current tax disc or SORN is due to expire.

If you use your registration certificate (V5C), you can apply for a tax disc or make a SORN from the first day of the month.

How to tax your vehicle without a reminder

You can tax your vehicle using a V10 ‘Vehicle licence application’. The documents you have will determine whether you can get your tax disc online, at a Post Office® branch or at a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) local office.

When to apply, without a reminder

If your tax is due to run out at the end of the month, you can renew it from the fifth day of the month.

If your vehicle has been untaxed, because you’ve just bought it, the tax disc has run out or a SORN is in force, you can tax from the first day of the month in which you apply.

If you want the tax disc to start on the first day of the next calendar month, you cannot tax your vehicle more than two days in advance.

Paying for car tax

To tax your vehicle online or by phone you’ll need to use the reference number on your V11 reminder.

Use the V11 reminder in person at any Post Office® branch that issues tax discs or by post to the address shown on the reminder form.

You need to take or send the following:

  • the completed V11 reminder, Registration Certificate or New Keeper Supplement
  • insurance certificate or cover note – must be valid when the tax disc starts
  • valid MOT certificate – if the car or motorcycle is over three years old – must be valid when the tax disc starts (an electronic check of your MOT will also be made)
  • the payment shown on the reminder (not needed if your vehicle is exempt from paying vehicle tax)
  • the V11 reminder or New Keeper Supplement will be returned to you when the tax disc is issued.

If you change your address, give your new address in Section 6 of your registration certificate (V5C), sign it and send it with payment of your tax to the DVLA. If you are going abroad, you must continue to pay your car tax. If it expires while you are abroad, you can renew online, pay in advance or ask someone to pay it for you.

Insuring your vehicle

The Law states that you must have at least third party insurance for any vehicle registered.

There are, of course, a lot of insurers on the market. The easiest way to find the best deal is via price comparison websites, or internet searches. Prices often vary from one insurer to another. It is important not to give false information to your insurer, as your insurance cover could be declared null and void by your insurer on the basis of fraud and you could be liable to pay for all costs and damages.

There are three types of insurance:

  • Third Party (accident)
  • Third Party Fire & Theft (accident/fire/theft)
  • Comprehensive cover (all risks)

We strongly advise you to take Third Party Fire & Theft. When you take out insurance, you must consider the excess on your policy (what costs you must first pay before the insurer pays out any funds). Keep the excess level in mind when comparing insurance prices on comparison website and make sure you are comparing like-for-like.

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