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How to renew your car tax

Recently, the DVLA released the UK’s car tax dodging hotspots – and London topped the list, followed by Northern Ireland, Birmingham and Manchester. According to its research, 27,605 vehicles were clamped last year, and 94,550 fines and penalties were issued to drivers who failed to pay their tax.

As a result, the DVLA has launched a new campaign to clamp down (excuse the pun) on tax avoiders, emphasising the penalties associated with failing to keep up with car tax. In addition to the fines, motorists risk court action, or even their vehicle being seized.

Paying car tax – much to the annoyance of some drivers – is non-negotiable. Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) was implemented in 1920 to specifically apply to motor vehicles, and has been compulsory ever since. Despite what many people believe, car tax doesn’t actually go towards the maintenance of roads, which is covered by our council tax. VED is split up in the same way as other taxes are, contributing to infrastructure, hospitals, education and local projects to name but a few.

Although there are some exceptions – for example, vehicles used by people with disabilities – generally speaking, anyone who has a car on the road in the UK must pay vehicle tax. Finding out if your car’s tax is due is simple: the DVLA has an easy-to-use tool on its website. Simply enter your registration number and you can find out when your car tax is due – it even lets you know when your next MOT is due!

The quickest way to pay your car tax is directly on the DVLA’s website. You’ll need a reference number, which can be found in your vehicle log book (V5C), the green ‘new keeper’s details’ slip (V5C/2), or on a reminder letter from the DVLA. You’ll simply need to type in your registration and reference number, and select if you’d prefer to pay for six or 12 months’ tax. Remember that the paper tax discs aren’t issued any more, so your payment confirmation will mean your car is taxed.

If you prefer, you can also pay your car tax by phone, or at the post office – you’ll just need your V5C or V5C/2 and registration number, although you should note that you can’t set up a direct debit over the phone. The DVLA’s new slogan is ‘Tax it or lose it’ – so it’s not something you can afford to ignore! However, you should note that if you sell your car, you can get a refund on any unused car tax that you have paid up front. You can’t transfer tax from one car to another, so if you’re getting a new car, remember to claim your car tax back – and make sure to get in touch with our helpful team, who make getting a new car as easy as possible.

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