Car tax check UK: How much is my car tax?

car road tax check

Navigating car tax regulations in the UK can be a complex endeavor, given the presence of four distinct road tax systems, officially known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). The amount you’ll pay hinges on your car’s initial registration year and month, with additional considerations for fuel type and CO2 emissions. 

Adding to the intricacy, government adjustments to road tax rates coincide with inflation, potentially leading to annual increases starting every 1st of April. If you find this system bewildering, you’re not alone. To ease your understanding, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to assist you in deciphering the nuances of car tax in the UK.

What is car tax?

Car tax, also known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in the UK, is a mandatory annual payment levied by the government for the privilege of owning and using a vehicle on public roads. The amount varies based on factors like the car’s emissions, fuel type, and the date it was first registered.

Failure to pay can result in fines, clamping, or even impounding of the vehicle. Keeping car tax up-to-date is crucial for legal compliance and road usage privileges.

How are vehicle tax rates calculated?

  • CO2 Emissions: Rates often correlate with a vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Fuel Type: Different rates for petrol, diesel, hybrid, and electric vehicles.
  • First Registration Date: Rates vary based on the year and month of the vehicle’s first registration.
  • Vehicle Type: Cars, motorcycles, and vans may have distinct tax rates.
  • Historic Vehicles: Some vehicles over 40 years old are exempt.
  • Government Regulations: Changes in policies and regulations can impact tax rates.
  • Flat Rate: A standard flat rate serves as a baseline, subject to adjustments.
  • Inflation Adjustments: Rates may be adjusted annually to account for inflation.
  • Exemptions and Discounts: Certain vehicles may qualify for exemptions or discounts based on specific criteria.

How much is my car tax in 2024?

Determining your car tax in 2024 involves considering the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates and regulations set by the UK government. The amount you’ll pay depends on factors such as your car’s first registration date, fuel type, and CO2 emissions. As of now, the flat rate for car tax in 2023/2024 is £180

Keep in mind that variations may apply if your car was first used before 2017. It’s essential to stay updated on any changes to VED rates, and you can find the most accurate information on the official UK government website or through online tools designed for this purpose.

What happens If I don’t tax my car in the UK?

If you forget to tax your car in the UK, driving without road tax can result in an £80 fine. The fine may increase to £1000 if the case goes to court. To avoid penalties, it’s crucial to pay for the untaxed period. The DVLA can also clamp your car until the fine is settled, preventing you from driving without road tax. 

Stay updated on your car tax to steer clear of fines and ensure you comply with regulations.

How to pay road tax?

To pay your road tax easily, visit the DVLA website and use your reference number from reminder letters, your V5C logbook, or the “new keeper” slip. Online, you can pay in full by debit/credit card or set up a monthly direct debit, with options for 6 or 12 months. Monthly payments have a 5% surcharge. Petrol/diesel cars need annual payment, while electric or exempt cars require yearly application. 

For assistance, call DVLA; however, direct debits can’t be set up over the phone. Some Post Office branches handle vehicle tax; verify service availability online or by contacting local branches.


How long does it take to get a car taxed?

Taxing a car in the UK is quick and can be done online in just a few minutes. Have your documents ready, such as the reference number, V5C logbook, or “new keeper” slip. The process is efficient, allowing for instant confirmation of payment.

Can  you pay road tax monthly?

Yes, you can pay road tax monthly in the UK. The DVLA offers a convenient monthly direct debit option, allowing you to spread the cost. Keep in mind that there’s a 5% surcharge for this payment method. Choose the monthly option when taxing your vehicle online through the DVLA website.

Can I drive my car home without tax?

No, driving a car without tax is illegal in the UK. Before driving, ensure your vehicle is taxed. If not, you risk fines, penalties, and potential vehicle impoundment. Use the DVLA website to tax your car promptly and stay compliant with the law.

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