Anyone with a roadworthy vehicle needs to make sure that their car tax is duly paid as non-payment can lead to a high penalty or even impounding of the vehicle. Through this blog post, we will discuss in detail how you can tax a second-hand car, the registration process, as well as how to pay your car tax.   

How Do You Tax A Second-Hand Car That You Have Just Bought? 

Before you can start paying tax on your car, whether new or second hand, the previous owner or dealer needs to make sure that you are the registered owner of the vehicle. 

In the case of a second-hand car, the previous owner needs to add your name (and other details) to the “new keeper” section of the V5C and send it to the Drivers And Vehicles Licensing Agency. They will give you a green slip that you need to keep safe as it is the proof of your ownership of the car until the car log book certifies it through the DVLA. You can use the 12 digit number that appears on your green slip (also termed as your V5C2 reference number) to pay your car tax while you are waiting for your car logbook to be renewed/transferred to your name.

The DVLA will send you an email as soon as your vehicle has been registered in your name and a new vehicle logbook posted to your address. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks for a new V5C to be sent to new owners by the DVLA. if it takes more time than this, you can apply using a V62 form through your local post office.

You may only be able to pay your car tax only if the vehicle is registered in your name and you can provide any of the following documents to prove your ownership of the car:

  • your V11 reminder notice which states the vehicle owner’s name and the amount of car tax due for the next tax term
  • a V62 logbook application form which shows that you have applied for a V5 while the previous one has gone missing
  • a V5C/2 Green slip that is issued to new car owners while the ownership of their vehicle is transferred from the previous owner

When buying a second-hand car, you may want to check the history of the vehicle. You can get vehicle information from DVLA and learn about the following regarding your new purchase:

  • CO2 emissions
  • Date of expiry for MOT 
  • Date of issuance of the last V5C
  • Engine size, weight, fuel type
  • Export status
  • First date of registration
  • SORN status
  • Type approval category
  • Vehicle tax (current rate and date of expiry)
  • Year of manufacture

Can You Tax A Car While Waiting For Renewal Of V5C?

Yes, you can pay your car tax while waiting for your logbook. If you have purchased a brand new car and you are the first owner, dealers usually arrange for payment for your car tax. 

Most of the time your car tax is included along with the price of your car and any registration fee that is to be levied. In the case of a second-hand car, if the dealer does not arrange a logbook transfer to your name, you can do the same by contacting the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on their website. However, it is advisable to purchase a vehicle with an updated logbook to avoid fraud or the purchase of a stolen car.

Payments can be made through local post offices registered for car tax. You may use a debit card, credit card or direct debit facility to make your car tax payment(s).

How Can I Apply For A V5C?

You can apply for your car’s logbook or V5C online through the DVLA website or through the post. It usually takes 6 weeks for your new logbook to be delivered. 

Payments can be made through local post offices registered for car tax. You may use a debit card, credit card or direct debit facility to make your car tax payment(s).

You must apply for a V5C immediately for a fee of £25, in case you have not done so. Not carrying your logbook can lead to a penalty being charged by the DVLA.

Informing the DVLA of the need for a new logbook is essential for all new car owners or those who have been transferred ownership of the car.

How Is Car Tax Paid?

If you have purchased a new car, your car tax is included along with the price of your car and any registration fee that is levied during the purchase. In the case of a second-hand car, if the dealer does not arrange a logbook transfer to your name, you can do the same by contacting the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on their website. 

To pay your car tax online from the post office, you will need the following documents;

  • Your V11 letter
  • An MOT test certificate
  • The amount of payment mentioned in the V11 letter

If you have misplaced your V11 letter or your V5C, your car tax can still be renewed through the local post office. At this time, you should also apply for a new Registration Certificate using a V62 application form A for £25.

How Much Road Tax Do I Have To Pay?

Road tax or Vehicle Excise Duty in the UK is calculated on the basis of a few factors including the engine size and CO2 emissions of the car.

However, the UK road tax system is divided across two separate rates. The first-rate applies during the first year of a car on the road when its CO2 emissions are also accounted for while calculating the tax rate. It may range from £0 for zero-emission cars to £2,245 for cars that emit 255g/km or more.

From the second year onwards, the CO2 emissions will not account for road tax, rather the original cost of the car will be considered for calculations.

Cars that are valued at or above £40,000 will be taxed a further £335 annual supplement that runs for five years. After this time-lapse, they will be taxed at the current tax rate applicable during the tax term.

The current (2021-22) road tax is set at a flat rate of £155. This is an increase from £150 in the 2020/2021 financial year) to adjust for inflation. There’s a £10 annual discount for alternatively fuelled vehicles such as hybrids, mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Therefore, their owners pay £145 annually.

Will I Get Fined If I Forgot To Tax My Car?

Yes, you will be fined by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if you forgot to tax your car. 

If your car is not taxed and is found on the road by the authorities, you will be fined £80 for driving an untaxed vehicle. If you pay the fine within 28 days, the amount will be halved and you will only have to pay £40. However, if you do not pay the fine within the stipulated time, the amount can increase to £1,000 and you can be taken to court or your vehicle can be clamped so that it cannot be driven until the fine is paid.  

If you do not intend to run your car on public roads, you are not required to pay your car tax. Instead, you should apply for Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) through your local post office dealing with car tax.

Conclusion:

We’ve come to learn from the detailed discussion above on car tax that (a) it is a mandatory tax levied on new and used vehicles (b) there are many alternate ways to make sure that your car tax is paid on time. Whether you are a second-hand car buyer or the owner of a brand new vehicle, the green slip that you are given at the time of purchase will serve as your proof of ownership and mode of payment of car tax until your car logbook arrives.

FAQs: How Do You Tax A Second-Hand Car That You Have Just Bought?

Can I tax a car online if I have just bought it?

Yes, you can tax your car online if you’ve just bought it as long as you have your V5C. In the case of a brand new car, first, check with your dealer/seller if they have built-in the car tax with the price of the car. In the case of a second-hand car, you can use the 12 digit number that appears on your green slip (also termed as your V5C2 reference number) to pay your car tax.

Can I tax my car while waiting for the logbook?

Yes, you can tax your car while waiting for your car logbook. Payments can be made through local post offices registered for car tax. You may use a debit card, credit card or direct debit facility to make your car tax payment(s). You will need either your V11 reminder notice, a V62 logbook application form or a V5C/2 Green slip that is issued to new car owners while the ownership of their vehicle is transferred from the previous owner.

Do I need to tax a brand new car?

Yes, you need to tax a brand new car as all roadworthy vehicles are required to pay car tax. If you have purchased a brand new car and you are the first owner, check with your dealer if they have made payment (details will be in your car logbook). In the other case, use your V5C to make an online payment. 

Can I tax a car that is not in my name?

No, you cannot tax a car that is not in your name. To be able to pay car tax, you must be the registered keeper of the vehicle in DVLA records.

How many days grace do you get to tax your car?

There are no longer any grace days to tax your car. When paper discs were in use, there used to be a five day grace period; however, with the online shift of the system, grace days are now non-existent 

References:

How-do-i-transfer-ownership-and-tax-for-a-used-car-i-ve-bought

Buy-a-vehicle

Buying-or-repairing-a-car/buying-a-used-car/

Taxing a car without a V5 logbook, V11 tax reminder or green slip (new keeper supplement).

How To Tax Your New Car Online With Green Slip V5C/2 (2020) GOV.UK

Tax your vehicle

Get a vehicle log book (V5C): If you cannot get a logbook online – GOV.UK

When can you drive a car with no tax?

Car tax guide | Everything you need to know | The AA

How to tax a car without V5 | Express.co.uk

Vehicle tax rates – GOV.UK

VED road tax: how does car tax work and how much will it cost? | Auto Express

What-happens-if-you-forget-to-tax-your-car

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