How Long Does It Take For Car Tax To Show Online?

Car tax can be paid conveniently through participating post offices, online through debit or credit cards or even a postal order. Through this blog post, we aim to answer the question of how long it takes for car tax to show on the DVLA website once you have made a payment. In addition to this, we will also explore other key areas regarding car tax payments, official and essential documents in this regard, ways through which car tax cab be paid as well as the consequences of not paying car tax.

How Long Does It Take For Car Tax To Show Online?

According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), it can take up to 5 working days for renewed car tax to show online. Car tax payments can be made through local post offices registered to handle car tax services. You may use a debit card, credit card or direct debit facility to make your car tax payment(s).

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

In the case of debit or credit payments, you will be charged an additional surcharge of 5 per cent; unless you pay the full amount of car tax on an annual basis in advance. The DVLA takes monthly payments for car tax on the first day of each month. However, car owners can choose to make car tax payments on a monthly or six-monthly basis.

You can check the status of your car tax payment via the DVLA’s Vehicle Enquiry System. At the same time, you will get an update regarding the insurance payments of your vehicle as well.

How Soon Can Car Tax Be Paid Before The End Of The Month?

You can tax your car 2 months in advance before your current car tax expires; however, if your car tax expires at the end of the month, you can pay the amount by the 5th day of the month. These payments can either be through cheque, postal order, online or through direct debit.

If you are making an advance payment, you will need the following documents:

  • Your vehicle registration certificate or logbook
  • An application for advance payment along with reasons 
  • Complete V10 form for vehicle tax and V85 form in case of a heavy good vehicle
  • An MOT or goods vehicle testing (GVT) certificate (in case you need one) 
  • A cheque, postal order or banker’s draft with the full amount payable to DVLA Swansea

Can I Tax My Car At The Post Office?

Yes, you can tax your car at the post office if (a) the post office deals with car tax and (b) you have the following documents with you:

  • a V5C vehicle certificate/logbook registered in your name, or
  • a V62 application for a registration certificate 
  • a new keeper slip if you’ve just bought the car 
  • an MOT test certificate

If it is the first time that you are making a Direct Debit payment, you will need the following:

  • your address 
  • your date of birth
  • your bank or building society account details

Can I Tax My Car Without A Logbook?

Yes, you may be able to pay your car tax without a V5 (your car logbook) if the vehicle is registered in your name. 

If you have received a V11 reminder notice from the DVLA which states the vehicle owner’s name and the amount of car tax due for the next tax term, you can use it as proof of identification. If it is a new vehicle you will need a V5C/2 Green slip that is issued to new car owners while the ownership of their vehicle is transferred from the previous owner. However, if the car is not registered in your name, neither can you pay car tax, nor drive it on public roads.

In the permanent absence of a V5, your car will be declared as SORN; Statuary Off-Road Notification until the new logbook arrives which can take up to a few weeks’ time. You must apply for a V5 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.

When Do I Get A V11 Reminder To Pay Car Tax?

Car owners receive a reminder from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency around three weeks before their vehicle tax is about to expire. This is called a V11 reminder. This letter can be taken to the nearest local post office which has car tax facilities and used as a reference to pay your car tax. If a vehicle owner loses their V11 letter, they can use their 11 digit reference number from their logbook known as V5C.

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 into 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.

How Should I Tax My Car?

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 the impression of fraud or the purchase of a stolen car; as well as to maintain regular payments of car tax.

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.

Who Is Exempted From Paying Car Tax?

Anyone with a roadworthy vehicle in the UK is required to pay Road Tax (also referred to as car tax, vehicle tax or road fund license), as this is a mandatory, annual payment enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. However, the following vehicles are exempt from Road Tax:

  • Cars used by a disabled person
  • Disabled passenger vehicles
  • Electric vehicles
  • Historic vehicles
  • Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs
  • Mowing machines
  • Steam vehicles
  • Vehicles used for agriculture, horticulture and forestry

What Are The Legal Obligations Of Car Drivers?

Legal obligations of drivers in the UK include the following:

  • the vehicle should be registered with DVLA
  • the vehicle must be roadworthy
  • the owner must have paid their current vehicle tax 
  • the owner must have a current mot certificate 
  • the owner must have a minimum of third party insurance 


Through this article, we have come to learn that it takes 5 working days for your paid car tax to appear online; however, once you’ve processed the amount, you can still take your car on a public road. It is essential to make sure that car owners maintain their car tax payments as failure to do so can lead to penalties or fines or even impounding of their vehicle.

FAQs: How Long Does It Take For Car Tax To Show Online?

Can you drive your car straight away after taxing online?

Yes, you can drive your car straight away after taxing it online. However, you must carry proof of your tax payment with you to avoid facing a penalty for driving a car without paying car tax.

Does vehicle tax start straight away?

Yes, vehicle tax starts straight away. If you have purchased a brand new car, your dealer can arrange for it to be paid along with other registration fees at the time of the purchase.

Can you drive while waiting for road tax?

Under normal circumstances, you cannot drive your car on public roads until it is taxed. However, if you are driving towards a prebooked MOT test, an untaxed car can be driven on the road.

Can you drive a car while waiting for your car logbook?

Yes, you can drive your car while waiting for your car logbook as long as your car tax is paid. You can use your V11 reminder to pay your car tax while you wait for your logbook

Why is my car not showing on DVLA?

The reason why your car is not showing on DVLA records is possible because it has not been registered as yet. While dealerships are issued registration numbers of cars much in advance of their delivery, car dealers usually do not register vehicles with the DVLA until the day of delivery.


Check Car Tax

Check if a vehicle is taxed – GOV.UK

Vehicle tax Direct Debit payments – GOV.UK.

How To Tax A Car: Car Tax Guide (2022 Update) | Motorway

Can you tax a car without insurance?

Tax your vehicle without a V11 reminder – GOV.UK


Driving without tax