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Vehicle Tax

Every vehicle registered in the United Kingdom must be taxed if used or kept on a public road.

If the vehicle is kept off-road or not used and it is not taxed, it must have a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) in force.

An untaxed vehicle without SORN could be wheel clamped or removed and the owner may face a fixed penalty fine.

Exemptions

Vehicles which are exempt and do not require vehicle tax to be paid on them, include:

  • electric vehicles
  • steam vehicles
  • vehicles used by a disabled person
  • disabled passenger vehicles
  • road construction vehicles
  • snow ploughs and gritting vehicles 
  • vehicles built and registered over 40 years from current date

Even though a vehicle may be exempt from paying vehicle tax, you still need to apply for 'nil value' vehicle tax.

A vehicle will also be exempt when it is being used solely under the following circumstances:

  • going to a test centre for a pre-booked MOT
  • undergoing an MOT test
  • having failed an MOT test, the vehicle is taken to a pre-booked appointment at a garage to have the identified faults rectified
  • if the vehicle has been designated as 'limited use' for short journeys (not more than 1.5 kilometres) on the public road between land that’s occupied by the same person

Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)

If you do not intend to use or keep your vehicle in a public place or on a public road (for example, in a garage or on private land), you do not need to tax the vehicle, instead you must apply for a SORN.

To find out more about applying for a SORN, go to gov.uk.

If you wish to use the vehicle on the road again, you must apply to tax it first.

Failure to tax your vehicle

If you do not meet any of the exemptions above and fail to tax your vehicle, you will be committing an offence.

If you have failed to renew your vehicle tax, it is common for the DVLA to demand an instant penalty against you without going through the courts.

How do I report an untaxed vehicle?

If you believe an untaxed vehicle, or a vehicle that is registered as SORN, is being kept in a public place, you can check the vehicle's status on gov.uk.

To report an untaxed vehicle in a public place to the DVLA, go to gov.uk.