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Driving without tax

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As a vehicle owner, we are all obliged to display a road tax disc to show that we have paid road tax for the vehicle being driven. If you do not display a road tax disc, you can get pulled over by a police officer and fined. Also many people fail to realise that when you drive around town or through road cameras, they can pick up your licence plate number and scan it through DVLA’s database to see if you are up to date with car insurance, road tax and MOT. Sometimes you might forget that your tax disc has expired and you are driving without tax, this is why it is important to keep a note of when important things run out.

How to buy or renew road tax?
You can buy your road tax through the post office or by purchasing online; it is becoming much harder for drivers to escape paying road tax as the DVLA now do monthly computer checks to make sure you have paid for it. If you are caught you can be fined £80, have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you or have your vehicle clamped. Most people are afraid about purchasing a new car and driving it without road tax but many do not know that car dealers can sort out the road tax for you prior to picking it up.

Remember you will need car insurance cover on the car and if the vehicle is over 3 years, a valid MOT is needed before the vehicle can be taxed.

Another consequence of driving without tax is that your insurance company will not pay out if you are involved in an accident. They will say that one of the conditions for providing insurance is that you have a valid tax disc and MOT; you will find that you are liable for all damages to your car and the other party.

Driving without road tax should be avoided but you should also be careful as it has been known that the DVLA will go to extreme lengths to penalise people who have not paid road tax. In some cases they have also made mistakes and taken a car with valid road tax that did not for whatever reason show up on their database. They are allowed to take a car away if it hasn’t been taxed. A female owner woke up one morning to find the DVLA trying to tow away her car; she ran out in her negligee and sat on the bonnet refusing to let them take it. She had proof that she had taxed her vehicle and the DVLA were forced to apologise. Always keep proof of payments and documentation for everything regarding your car. You never know when you may have to show proof as the computer sometimes gets it wrong.

gices Published 10 Mar 2010
I'm a Software Developer and the founder of Clever Dodo. I encourage people to practice MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Driver SOS (UK)

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2898 members . 1217 topics . 2221 posts
Candy 10 Oct 2019

Have bought new car with no tax, and need to get it home

Hiya, I am meant to be picking up a newly bought car from a private seller tonight, but it is not taxed. Is it OK to be driving it home? Or will I still get fined if stopped by the police? Thanks Candy

[Migrated from previous topic 12090 dated 18 Mar 2011]

gices 10 Oct 2019

If it's not taxed, then you will be fined if stopped by the police. You need to sort out the road tax before you collect the car.

[Migrated from previous post 1617 dated 18 Mar 2011]

Terry_1 04 Oct 2019

Cannot tax car because post offices are closed till 4th January 2011

My car tax expired on the 31st December 2010 due to it being Christmas all post offices are closed till the 4th January. So does this mean I have to wait till then or can I drive my car till I renew it on the 4th?

[Migrated from previous topic 11768 dated 02 Jan 2011]

dinithegreat 04 Oct 2019

Car tax fine

I bought a car in May 2016, paid the road tax by direct debit, in October 2017 I got stopped by the police for having no road tax. The dvla had taken out money for a year but hadn’t received the new owners registration details(mine) so had suddenly stopped taking out the money in may 2017, they didn’t notify me or anyone as they said they had no contact details, despite me having to give them so to set up the direct debit. I immediately paid the back tax and the rest of the year, apologised . Now I have been fined £173. Do I pay or appeal?

[Migrated from previous topic 12781 dated 23 Nov 2017]