What Happens If I Pay My Car Tax Late?

All roadworthy vehicles in the UK are due for a car tax. The aim o this article is to emphasise on the consequences if a car owner pays their car tax late. In addition to this, we will also discuss the implication of paying your car tax at different times during the month, following the reminders notice that the DVLA sends you for car tax payment as well as what to do if you have misplaced your car logbook. 

What Happens If I Pay My Car Tax Late?

If you pay your car tax late, you will have to pay a fine of £80 in addition to your car tax bill. This is a penalty charged by the DVLA for non-payment of car tax by the due date mentioned in your V11 reminder notice. If you make this payment within 28 days, the fine will be reduced to 50 per cent making it £40. However, you will not get any points on your license at this time.

To pay your late payment fine, you will need the following documents:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Penalty letter issued by the DVLA
  • Debit or credit card to make the payment 

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.  

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.

Vehicle owners must keep in view that even if their car is exempt from car tax payments, such as an electric car, they still need to get it registered for car tax payments.

If I Tax My Car On The Last Day Of The Month Will I Lose A Month?

Yes, if you tax your car on the last day of the month, you will lose an entire month’s payment. The reason for this is that car tax runs on a month to month basis. If you pay your car tax on a monthly basis and make a payment at the end of the month, it will be counted as the payment for the running month that is about to end. If you pay your car tax on a six-monthly basis, making a payment at the end of a month reduces your payment to five months in the future. Similarly, in the case of an annual payment, it will be taken as an 11-month payment for the next car tax term.

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 you have not been able to tax your car due to a misplaced logbook, you can apply 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).

How Soon Can I Tax My Car 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

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. 

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.

If you have purchased a brand new car and you are the first owner, you may want to check if the car tax has already been paid as dealers usually arrange for its payment while making a sale. 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. 

Will I Get A Car Tax Reminder?

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.

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 £25.00

However, 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.

Can You Tax A Car Without V5?

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 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.

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).

However, in the 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 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).


The discussion in this blog post makes it clear that if a car owner forgets to pay their car tax on time and pays it after the due date, they will have to pay the tax in full as well as a penalty charge of £80. If they pay the fine and their car tax dues within 28 days after a fine is issued, the penalty charged will be halved. 

FAQs: What Happens If I Pay My Car Tax Late?

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

There are no grace days anymore to tax your car. Once your car is fined you will have 28 days to pay the amount; which will be halved if you pay before the due date.

Do you have to backdate car tax?

Car tax cannot be backdated. 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 have purchased a brand new car and you are the first owner, dealers usually arrange for payment for your car tax.

Can I drive my car back from MOT without tax?

Yes, you can drive your car to and from MOT without tax but you must assure that your tax is paid at the earliest and your car is not on a public road until then.

Is insurance valid without tax?

No, your insurance is considered invalid if your car tax or MOT are expired. It will also be considered invalid if your vehicle is not road worthy and requires repair work.

When should I receive my car tax reminder?

If you are the registered owner of an eligible vehicle in the UK, you can expect to receive your car tax reminder from the DVLA three weeks before it is due. This is usually after the 5th day of the month prior to the month that their tax is due.


Pay a DVLA fine – GOV.UK

What happens if you forget to tax your car? | Age Co

What Happens If I Pay My Car Tax Late Uk? – ictsd.org

What happens if you forget to tax your car? | Age Co

If I Tax My Car On The Last Day Of The Month Will I Lose A Month?

Vehicle tax

Tax your car

DVLA-car tax

Apply for vehicle tax in advance – GOV.UK


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