What Happens If A Car Is Not Taxed And The Registered Keeper Changes?

If you are wondering what happens if a car is not taxed and the registered keeper changes, you will find the answer to this question in the following blog post. In addition to this, we will also discuss some of the important areas of being a new registered keeper to make sure that you are following rules set by the DVLA.

What Happens If A Car Is Not Taxed And The Registered Keeper Changes?

If a car is not taxed and the registered keeper changes, they can be penalised by the DVLA if the car is driven on public roads. Penalties by the DVLA for driving an untaxed car on public roads include the following:

  • a fine of £80 (£100 if the vehicle is not insured as well)
  • the vehicle being clamped or impounded (vehicle can be released against a fee)
  • the matter being prosecuted in magistrate’s court (if the fine/fee is not paid)

If the registered keeper does not pay the fine issued against an untaxed car, this amount can increase to £1,000. If they still do not pay the fine, the DVLA can take the matter to court.

If your vehicle gets clamped or impounded for being untaxed, there will be a fee attached to their release. Listed below are the details of the mandatory fee for releasing a clamped, untaxed vehicle:

  • clamp release fee of £100 if the vehicle tax is paid and it is approved for release within the first 24 hours of wheelclamping
  • release fee of £200 impound release fee if the vehicle has been moved to a vehicle pound
  • a storage fee of £21 per day if the vehicle is moved to the vehicle pound (in addition to the release fee)

While unpaid car tax may not be a criminal offence, however, if the registered keeper fails to pay the fine levied by the DVLA, the matter can be taken to a magistrate’s court and they can increase the fine to £1,000 as well as include the cost of the court proceedings. This will be in addition to the car tax owed by the registered keeper.

If the car is kept parked in a personal parking space by the new registered keeper, they may be able to avoid any penalties. However, in some cases, there is a £30 fine for keeping an untaxed, uninsured vehicle on your premises; unless the vehicle is declared as SORN.

When a car is purchased by a new registered keeper, they are required to make sure that car tax payments are made in time so that any penalties from the DVLA can be avoided.

If the new registered keeper is waiting for the vehicle logbook to be transferred to their name, they can still pay their car tax using the Newkeeper’s Greenslip issued to them at the time of the purchase of the vehicle.

How Should You Tax A Car When The Registered Keeper Changes?

You can tax a car when there is a change of the registered keeper in the following ways:

  • use the vehicle logbook or V5C if the previous owner has transferred ownership to you and your name is registered in the vehicle logbook
  • use the V62 application if you are the current keeper of the vehicle and it is registered in your name but you are waiting for the vehicle logbook to be updated 
  • use the  “new keeper” green slip if you have just bought the vehicle but it is not registered in your name

Car tax payments can be made online or through a local post office in any of the following ways:

  • Cash
  • Direct debit
  • Debit card
  • Credit card

How To Tax A Car When The New Registered Keeper Is Waiting For The V5C?

If you are the new registered keeper who needs to pay their car tax but is still waiting for the vehicle logbook or V5C to be transferred to your name, you can use your new keeper’s green slip to pay your car tax.

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.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), it can take up to 5 working days for renewed car tax to show online.

However, if you are trying to tax your car online using the V5C/2 reference number and it is not being recognised by the DVLA’s system, you may need to try a few times if the database is being updated. If there is a prolonged delay, you may need to get in touch with the DVLA if your car tax cannot be paid due to an unrecognised V5C/2.


The above discussion brings us to the conclusion that the change of a vehicle’s registered keeper is not reason enough not to have your car tax paid. The consequences of having an untaxed vehicle include penalties such as fines and wheel clamping which are best avoided by keeping your car tax updated by using your new keeper’s green slip to pay your car tax. 


DVLA enforcement of vehicle tax, registration and insurance offences – GOV.UK

Tax your vehicle without a V11 reminder – GOV.UK