Renewing car tax online


UK-based readers who haven’t had to renew their car tax lately may be interested to know that when you get the renewal notice from the DVLA, it now includes information on how to go about doing so on the Internet – avoiding the queues in the Post Office. In fact it also avoids the need to dig out your insurance and MOT documents.

You simply go over to and enter your reference number. The system checks your insurance and MOT are up-to-date automatically, and you can then pay online.

How well this will work in practice remains to be seen – I suspect it will depend on how long it takes for the new tax disc to arrive in my letter box, since I need a new one by the end of the month. However, this is the first time I’ve actually been impressed by a so-called “e-Government” / Directgov service, at least in terms of the ease of use. Fingers crossed the disc arrives and doesn’t ruin my impression of the service.

Another nice surprise was that under the new VED rules that came out in the Budget on Tuesday, the cost for my car has actually gone down by ยฃ5 per year. Not that that would ever be enough for me to vote for Mr “squeeze ’em ’til the pips squeak” Brown, but it was a small bonus.

Update March 30th 2006: the tax disc arrived in good time.

Update January 17th 2006: following a discussion about why this post attracts so much attention, I was very happy to receive a comment from Andrew Rhodes, Head of Electronic Customer Services at DVLA. He explains how this works:

You have to have a computerised MOT to use the service and all garages since March 2006 have been issuing them. By April, everyone needing an MOT will have a computerised one. Until that happens, we only invite the people we know can definately use the service (computerised MOT or car less than 3 years old). Your traffic is probably from people who havenโ€™t been invited but have heard about it and want to find the site. We recently changed the reminder to give information to these people too.

We select and print 3-4 million reminders a month (44 million a year) about 6 weeks before your tax is due. We post them a while before the 15th of the month, which is when you can start taxing your car, bike, lorry, van etc from. Most people get their reminder on around the 14th/15th of the month.

So, now we know ๐Ÿ™‚ many thanks, Andrew.

29 thoughts on “Renewing car tax online”

  1. I did this last time I needed to renew my tax disc and it worked a treat, with the tax disc turning up after 3 or 4 days. It was actually quite a relief because I had trouble tracking down my insurance documents at the time.

  2. I’m impressed by the service – but it’s only one of the government’s sites that I’ve found that works efficiently, and in 2006 I think it’s probably 5 years later than it needed to be ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. tried to renew my vehicle licence over phone, without success.Particulars on phone application went well until Master card details were given. Five seperate attempts were made on four different cards, all cards were declared to be not acceptable, which was ridiculous. Similar attempt on internet proved a waste of time.Information was given but CGIProxy information was required , whatever the hell that is. It@s back to the post Office for us

  4. Sounds like the kind of thing I’d report to DVLA as a problem with their site. As a techie, I’d say that a CGI error sounds like a temporary problem – but obviously I don’t know the system.

    Fingers crossed that it will be working for me again in March.

  5. 7.00 pm Sat. 20/01/07. I have now been trying for 1 hour and I seem to have the same problem as R. Clutton in that I am getting a CGI error, and some 6 tries later my baldness is now well advanced!! I could have been to the P O and back at least twice.Trying again to-morrow.

  6. That’s unfortunate. Again I’d suggest that you report the issue to the DVLA directly – I’m nothing to do with them, and I can’t really offer support for the problem ๐Ÿ™

    Good luck.

  7. I have just bouhgt a new car with 4th tax disc still in force.It stated on the section v5c2 that I could tax the car using the part of sales doc after 16 days having bought the car.
    But I was told that I have to wait a month before I can tax the car ,because the tax had not run out.

  8. Go to the site linked in the post, click on “Apply for a tax disc now”, and then follow the prompts with your documents to hand.

  9. I have a disabled tax disc. Do I have to take this to the post office to have my form stamped as usual.

  10. Hi Leslie, thanks for the visit. Unfortunately I am not associated with DVLA in anyway – I suggest you call them to clarify the position.

  11. Hello! I have just renewed my disc for another year and would like to say I found this very much easier by using your telephone line service than trying on-line. The ‘phone service is perfectly simple and easy – excellently clear at every stage (takes less than 4 minutes) but I found the on-line service confusing and not clear. I was not allowed to continue from step one despite entering correctly my details. (which were easy to do on the ‘phone). The lay out is not very clear on-line and should be itemised more obviously
    Well done on your ‘phone service and the whole idea is great! Phew now I can get on and enjoy my day!

  12. I’m amazed and impressed at how many people come here to thank you for, complain at you about, or ask you questions about the online car tax renewal service. Do they know something about you I don’t? ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. This is the 1st time that i actually taxed my car on line, I can’t believe how easy it was to do it. I think it took me about 20 mins from start to finish, how anybody has trouble doing it on line beats me. And i am not very good with internet life, or at least i thought i wasn’t

  14. I would also like to point out that i renewed my tax on line late late evening of the 28/7 & received it today 31/7 in time for 1/8

  15. “Renew online” I was told. “It’s easy” I was told. Well, I must be a complete moron, because after twenty minutes of frustration and stress, I GIVE UP.!!! I will renew by phone – I HOPE!!!

  16. Tried on 30March to tax online my car from 1 April, which had been on a sworn for 6 months. Only option I got was to tax it from 1/3/10. By phone only option was to tax it from October when sworn runs out.

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