Car insurance, vehicle tax and your MOT certificate are essential documents for you to legally drive on a public road. Through this article, we will discuss if car insurance is valid when vehicle tax is unpaid. Additionally, we will also explain the details of car tax payments, their process as well as consequences of not paying car tax on time.

Is Car Insurance Valid Without Tax?

While your car insurance is technically valid when your car tax is unpaid; however, it lies at the discretion of your insurance company. In the case of an accident, the other party may be able to make a third party claim through your insurance but your insurance company will not cover damages since your car tax was unpaid. In fact, if you are fined for unpaid car tax, they may even revoke your vehicle insurance. This will make it extremely difficult for you to successfully attain vehicle insurance from another company.

Car insurance will also not remain valid if your vehicle is deemed unworthy. Therefore, in addition to making sure that your car tax is duly paid, your MOT is updated, you need to keep a regular check on your vehicle’s performance such as brakes and oil.

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.

If you have purchased or registered a car to your name, you will be required to apply for a Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). Otherwise, the DVLA will send you a V11 reminder to do so. The purpose of this reminder is to set up your vehicle tax. You will receive an annual reminder to renew 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.

How Should I Tax My Car?

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.

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. 

At this time, you should also apply for a new Registration Certificate using a V62 application form A for £25.

How Much Car Tax Do I Have To Pay?

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.

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.

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).

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.

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

Conclusion:

Through this article, we have come to learn that while car insurance may technically be valid when car tax is unpaid, you will not be able to benefit from it in case of an accident as insurance companies will not extend support in such a situation. If you are fined for unpaid car tax, you may also lose your insurance policy. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your car payments, MOT and insurance are all updated. 

FAQs: Is Car Insurance Valid Without Tax?

Is car insurance valid without tax or MOT?

While car insurance is technically valid without paying car tax or having an MOT certificate, the insurance company will not provide you with any coverage during an incident in such cases. In fact, if you are fined for unpaid car tax and an invalid MOT, you will lose on your insurance policy as well.

Can I drive a car without road tax?

No, it is illegal to drive your car without paying road tax. The only time when this is permissible is if you are driving to a pre-arranged MOT test.

What happens if I don’t tax my car?

If your car is not taxed and is found on the road by the authorities, you will be fined £80. If you pay the fine within 28 days, the amount will be halved but if you do not pay the fine within the stipulated time, the amount can increase to £1,000, you can be taken to court or your vehicle can be clamped.  

Can I insure and tax a car on the same day?

Yes, you can pay your car insurance and car tax on the same day. You can choose to do it online or visit your local post office that deals with car tax.

Can I tax my car for 1 month?

Car tax payments can be made on a monthly, semi-annually or on annual basis. However, you cannot tax your car on a temporary basis for 1 month.

References:

What will invalidate your car insurance? The complete list

Why driving without tax doesn’t (usually) invalidate your car insurance | Cuvva.

When can you drive a car with no tax?

Vehicle insurance: Uninsured vehicles – GOV.UK

Check Car Tax

Check if a vehicle is taxed – GOV.UK

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

Can you tax a car without insurance?

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

Rates of vehicle tax

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