Why Can’t I Tax My Car Online?

Car tax payment is essential for any vehicle owner to avoid being fined as they drive on public roads. The aim of this blog post is to learn the reasons why someone can’t pay their car tax online. We will explore the online process for car tax payments, how to tax a new car online, as well as the consequences of not keeping your car tax updated.

Why Can’t I Tax My Car Online?

You may be unable to tax your car online due to any of the following reasons:

  • Your car’s MOT is due for renewal within a month’s time 
  • Your car was previously in the disabled car tax class and you need to change the tax class before paying the car tax
  • You are trying to make an advance payment of more than 2 months for your car tax
  • Your car has not been registered with the DVLA either due to being a brand new vehicle or the registration has not been transferred from the previous owner 
  • You don’t have car insurance for your vehicle or your current car insurance has expired and is due for a renewal
  • You don’t have a vehicle logbook or V5C for your car; either because you have just purchased it from the dealer or the ownership has not been transferred from the previous owner
  • You don’t have the 12-digit reference number from your vehicle logbook, a V11 reminder from the DVLA or the green slip to pay your car tax

If none of these situations applies to you, a simple explanation for not being able to tax your car online could lie in the fact that the server on the DVLA website was down temporarily and you can try again the next day to check whether or not you can tax your car online.

Otherwise, you can use the following modes of payment to pay your car tax:

  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Postal Order

How Can I Tax My Car Online?

You can tax your car online if you have the following documents:

  • Your vehicle registration certificate; V5C
  • Your V11 reminder from the DVLA
  • A valid Ministry Of Transport (MOT) certificate 

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.

Can I Tax A New Car Online?

Yes, you can tax a new car online if it is registered in your name. When someone buys a new car through a car dealership, the dealer usually arranges for the car tax to be paid, manages the paperwork on behalf of the car owner and adds the vehicle registration fee of £55 to the price of the car. 

Car dealers can make car tax payments on your behalf in any of the following ways:

  • online 
  • over the phone 
  • at the local post office

Once your car tax is paid, the dealer will share your vehicle logbook or V5C registration certificate with you.

If you need to tax a new car on your own, you will need to fill out a V55/4 form. This form can also be used to tax new imported vehicles and newly-built (kit) cars. When applying for your car tax, you will need to prove your identity using a copy of your driving licence.

Can I Tax My Car Online Before The End Of The Month?

Yes, you can tax your car online before the end of the month. In fact, 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

Can I Get Fined For Not Paying Tax On 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.


While there may be different reasons for being unable to pay your car tax online; as the registered owner of the vehicle, you must make sure to keep your car tax updated. Therefore, if you find that you are unable to pay your car tax online, you can opt for an alternative payment method and make sure to check the status of your car tax payment. This can be done online by entering the registration number of your vehicle.

FAQs: Why Can’t I Tax My Car Online?

Do I have a grace period on my car tax?

No, there is no grace period for car tax payments. Grace periods of five days were in place when tax discs were in use; however, with the abolishment of paper discs, there is no grace period anymore.

How much is a DVLA fine for no tax?

If your vehicle is not taxed or declared SORN, the DVLA fine will be £80. If you pay this within 28 days of receiving the notice, you can get a 50% discount.

What happens if you get caught without car tax?

If you are caught without paying car tax, you will initially be fined by the DVLA. If you do not pay the fine, there can be legal action against you or your vehicle may be clamped or towed.

How long can I drive without road tax in the UK?

You cannot drive without paying road tax in the UK. The DVLA can penalise you with a fine of £80 or clamp your vehicle if it is not taxed.

Can I drive my car without tax while waiting for the logbook?

No, you cannot drive your car without tax. If you are waiting for your logbook, you can still pay your car tax using the V11 reminder or new keeper green slip.


Tax your vehicle – GOV.UK

Can you tax a car without insurance?

How do you tax a car you’ve just bought? – Confused.com

Tax your vehicle without a V11 reminder – GOV.UK