Car tax is a mandatory payment to be paid to the DVLA if you wish to avoid your car being fined, clamped or impounded. Through this blog post, we will discuss the steps to be taken by a vehicle owner if their car has been clamped due to unpaid car tax. In addition to this, we will also discuss the penalties that can be levied on cars for unpaid tax, how you can pay car tax, when it starts to show online and what are important points to remember when paying your car tax.

What To Do When Your Car Is Clamped For Not Paying Tax?

If your car has been clamped due to unpaid car tax, you will be required to pay your car tax as well as a penalty to get your vehicle released from the DVLA.

The first thing you should do in such a case is to refer to the instructions on the INF32 leaflet posted on your vehicle when it was clamped. Otherwise, you can call your local police station on 101 or call the NSL. You will still be required to pay a release fee and your car tax before gaining access to your vehicle.

If you are unable to tax your car for any reason, you will be asked by the authorities to pay a surety deposit to have our car unclamped. It costs £160 for cars or motorcycles and can go up to £700 for other vehicles. 

Payments can be made online, over the phone or in-person at the car pound. If you pay within the first 24 hours of your car being clamped, your release fee may be less compared to the charges you will have to bear after the passage of 24 hours; which can go up to £200.

Vehicles can only be clamped by the following authorities in the UK:

  • DVLA 
  • DVSA 
  • police 
  • local councils 
  • bailiffs or fines enforcement officers (in the case of debts to the local council or unpaid PCNs)

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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. 

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).

What Is A V11 Reminder For 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.

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.

Conclusion:

This detailed discussion makes it clear that releasing your car from being clamped involves a release fee as well as clearance of your car tax dues. If vehicle owners fail to take any action, their car can be impounded and if unclaimed it can also be sold or scrapped by the authorities.

FAQs: What To Do When Your Car Is Clamped For Not Paying Tax?

How long does it take to get a clamp removed?

It can take between 7-and 14 days to have a clamp removed from your car. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that you pay the release fee and clear any car tax dues or debt at the earliest.

Can I unclamp my car?

No, you cannot unclamp your car as it is considered a serious offence to do so.

What happens when your car is clamped?

If you do not pay the release fee for your vehicle within 24 hours of it being clamped, your car will be impounded and if you fail to contact the authorities and pay your due fine, it can also be scrapped or dismantled.

How much is it to get your car out of police impound in the UK?

It costs £160 for cars or motorcycles and can go up to £700 for other vehicles. Payments can be made online, over the phone or in-person at the car pound. 

Can police seize your car for no tax?

Yes, the police can seize your car for unpaid tax and it will not be released until your car tax and release fine is paid.

References:

Car Tax Enforcement).

Get a clamped or impounded vehicle released – GOV.UK

What-happens-car-clamped-how-released-how-much-cost/

What-to-do-if-your-car-is-clamped-or-impounded

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

Driving without tax

Buy Or Renew Your Vehicle Tax | Identity | Post Office®.

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

Vehicle tax

Tax your car

DVLA-car tax

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

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