Auto tax credits and deductions

A tax refund is not transferable to a new owner, so try to get one as soon as possible because you are required by law to notify the DVLA when you no longer own a vehicle.

If you SORN your vehicle, you will also receive a tax refund. A Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) is when you take your car "off the road" because you no longer want to insure or tax it.

You can notify the DVLA that you are no longer the owner of a vehicle by confirming the change online. You will be asked if you are a car dealer. If not, you confirm that you have either:

  • You've sold your vehicle.

  • Put it in the name of someone else.

  • It was scrapped.

If you've sold the vehicle, make certain the buyer has the green new keeper slip from the log book. You are free to destroy the remaining pages of the old log book.  

Before your new buyer takes possession of the vehicle, they must either tax it or declare it off the road (or SORN - the acronym stands for Statutory Off Road Notification).

If you get a new job away from home and want to'retire' your car without selling it, it may be a good idea to declare it 'SORN.' You can keep your car on the driveway or in the garage, but it cannot be driven on the road.  

If your vehicle is undriveable (for whatever reason) and you do not wish to sell or dispose of it, the DVLA assumes it is not being used on public roads and does not require taxation.  

It is worth noting that the global Coronavirus 2020 Pandemic provided a legitimate opportunity to declare a vehicle SORN if it did not meet all SORN guidelines and was genuinely off the public highway.

When you notify the DVLA that you have sold or removed your vehicle, your direct debit is cancelled. You will automatically receive a cheque refund sent to the address listed on the old log book.  

The 5% surcharge on some direct debit payments, as well as the 10% six-month payment, are not refundable.  

If you meet the following criteria, you are entitled to a full refund for any remaining tax for the entire month:

  • Sell or transfer ownership of your vehicle to someone else.

  • Your insurance company declares your vehicle totaled.

  • Your vehicle has been scrapped at a scrapyard.

  • Export your vehicle from the United Kingdom.

  • Register it as a genuine tax-free vehicle.

  • It has been declared SORN and is thus removed from the road.

If you notify DVLA that your vehicle has been written off, you must provide the insurance company's name and registered post code. When applying online, you can enter this information in the 'provide trader details' section.

You will also need to provide the registration number and the 11-digit reference number from the section of the V5C log book titled "sell, transfer, or part-exchange your vehicle to the motor trade."  

You will receive an email confirming the information. A letter will be sent to your home address as well. You will then receive a tax refund by cheque, which can take up to six weeks to arrive.

Contacting the DVLA directly If you cancel your direct debit, the DVLA will send you a VED cheque for any remaining months on your car tax. However, if you cancel just before your next monthly payment is due, your payment may still be taken.  

Your full refund will be issued from the date you notify DVLA that:

  • You've sold or given your car to someone else.

  • Your car was scrapped at a scrapyard.

  • It has been taken.

  • It has been exported from the United Kingdom.

  • Your insurance company has declared your vehicle totaled.

According to the DVLA, a full refund can take up to six weeks. If you haven't received it within this time frame, contact the DVLA.

You can easily contact the DVLA online for a variety of vehicle and driver-related inquiries, including car tax.  

This service can be used to inquire about personalised registration plates, report an untaxed or abandoned vehicle, and ask questions about exporting or importing a vehicle.

If your application detail does not match the log book, your tax refund application may be rejected. These particulars must be identical.  

If your address changes, you must also update your V5C log book. This is completely free. The DVLA can fine you up to £1,000 if you do not update your log book. You must provide the addresses where you have lived in the last three years.  

Be aware that the procedure in Northern Ireland differs. If you are a Northern Ireland resident, you can change your address online.

Put the cheque back in the mail and explain what went wrong. Send it to Refund Section, DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AL.

Your vehicle's tax rate is determined by its fuel type, CO2 emissions, and engine size. When the vehicle was registered affects the tax rate in some cases.  

If your car was registered before March 1, 2001, the tax is based solely on the engine size. After this date, the tax rate for your vehicle is based on its fuel type and CO2 emissions.  

By going online and entering the vehicle's registration number, you can find a variety of useful information details about most vehicles. You can also look up its tax - the current rate and when it expires - as well as its MOT and SORN status.  

This website also provides information on:

  • Date of issuance of the log book (the V5C)

  • The year the car was manufactured

  • Type certification

  • Weight

  • Dimensions of the engine

  • Emissions and fuel type

If you modify your vehicle and increase the engine size, your tax will change. You must change the tax class of your vehicle by completing a V70 form.  

There are numerous online tax scams. The DVLA strongly advises drivers to contact them only through GOV.UK. Websites and web pages from the United Kingdom  

Keep an eye out for potentially misleading third party websites "These sites will often offer to help you apply for a driving licence or tax your car but are likely to charge additional fees for services that you could get for free or at a lower cost on GOV," the DVLA warns. UK ”

Keep an eye out for premium numbers and text messages. Keep in mind that the government never sends texts about vehicle tax refunds.  

"Text scams frequently ask you to click a link and provide credit card information." Never click on a link and immediately delete the text," it adds.

  • Take reasonable precautions regarding the status of your vehicle on social media.

  • Be especially wary of messages urging you to act immediately.

  • Be wary of any website claiming to be a genuine GOV. A UK website, particularly one that requests personal information.

According to the most recent figures (2017), there are more than five million, at a total cost to the government of £1 billion. 96 for each refund According to the government, the data is subject to change "as the method of calculation is refined."

Declaring a vehicle SORN can save you a significant amount of money. However, in order to get the vehicle back on the road, you must insure and tax it. It must have a current MOT. Driving a SORN vehicle to a garage for a pre-booked MOT is legal as long as you don't stop along the way.  

Because you will be driving it on public roads, it must also be insured. You must re-tax the vehicle as soon as it has passed its MOT.  

When your vehicle is declared SORN, the DVLA believes it is either unroadworthy, in storage, being restored, or simply not being driven. It must not come into contact with public tarmac under any circumstances.  

You no longer need to renew your vehicle's SORN status because the law was changed in 2013, but once you re-tax it, the SORN status is immediately cancelled.

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