Unless declared as exempted or SORN, all roadworthy vehicles in the UK are due for car tax payments. The main focus of this blog post is car tax payments as we aim to answer the question of when does car tax start from when it is paid during an ongoing month. For a holistic overview of the topic, we will also discuss how car tax is calculated, the modes of payment and the consequences of not paying your car tax.

If I Tax My Car Today When Will It Start From?

If you pay your car tax on a monthly basis and you tax your car today (this means anytime during the month), the current month during which you make the payment will be accounted for. This means that since car tax starts from the first day of the month if you make a payment anytime during the month, the entire month will be paid for. While this may benefit you if you make a payment in the early days of a new month, you might feel at a loss when you make a car tax payment after the 15th day of the ongoing month.

The DVLA gives car owners the option to make car tax payments on a monthly, six-monthly or annual basis. While the first two options carry a 5% surcharge, you may find it more financially feasible to pay your car tax on an annual basis.

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

You can choose to pay your car tax through direct debit, debit or credit card, online transfer, bank cheque or your local post office that deals with car tax.

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. 

Once you make the car tax payment, it generally takes approximately 5 working days for your car tax payment to appear on the DVLA website.

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.

How Are Car Tax Rates Calculated?

Rates of vehicle tax in the UK are 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.

How Much Car Tax Do I Have To Pay?

Your first tax payment for the next 12 months after registering your vehicle can be classified as per the below table:

CO2 Emissions (g/km)Diesel Cars (TC49)Petrol Cars (TC48)(GBP)All Other Diesel Cars(GBP)Alternative Fuel Cars (TC59)(GBP)
0000
1-5010250
51-752511515
76-90115140105
91-100140160130
101-110160180150
111-130180220170
131-150220555210
151-170555895545
171-1908951,345885
191-2251,3451,9101,335
226-2551,9102.2451,900
Over 2552,2452.2452,235

From the second year onwards, your car tax payments will be classified as follows:

Fuel typeSingle 12 month paymentSingle 12 month payment by Direct DebitTotal of 12 monthly payments by Direct DebitSingle 6 month paymentSingle 6 month payment by Direct Debit
Petrol or Diesel£155£155£162.75£85.25£81.38
Electric£0N/AN/AN/AN/A
Alternative£145£145£152.25£79.75£76.13

Alternative fuel vehicles include hybrids, bioethanol and liquid petroleum gas.

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.

Will I Get A 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.

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:

From the above discussion on car tax payments we may conclude that if someone makes a car tax payment during the month, the entire month will be taken into account. Therefore, it may be wise to make car tax payments as early as possible during a month’s tenure. While this may be the case when you choose to make monthly payments for tax. You can also pay your car tax on a six-monthly or annual basis or avail of the direct debit facility from your bank to manage advance or automated payments. To avoid a late payment, you can also pay your car tax 2 months in advance before it is due to expire. 

FAQs: If I Tax My Car Today When Will It Start From?

How long does it take for car tax to show on the system?

As per the DVLA, it generally takes up to 5 working days for paid car taxes to be shown on the system.

Can I tax my car before the end of the month?

Yes, you can tax your car before the end of the month. If someone makes a car tax payment during the month, the entire month will be taken into account. Therefore, it may be wise to make car tax payments as early as possible during a month’s tenure. 

Can I drive my car while waiting for tax?

While it is illegal to drive your car while waiting for tax, you may be permitted to do so if you are driving your car for an MOT test.

Can temporary car insurance be used to tax a car?

Yes, temporary car insurance can be used to tax a car; whether it is done online or from the post office.

How early can I renew my road tax?

You can submit your application for road tax payments 2 months in advance.

References:

Apply for vehicle tax in advance – GOV.UK

Tax your vehicle – GOV.UK

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

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

Car tax bands explained | MoneyHelper

Rates of vehicle tax

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

Vehicle tax rates – GOV.UK

Vehicle tax

DVLA-car tax

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John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.