A simples guide

Car tax refunds explained

We all like a refund. So when it comes to getting some money back on car tax feel free to jump for joy and run around the house clutching that brown envelope. And to make sure you get back what you’re owed, we’ll explain how to get a car tax refund.


How do I get a car tax refund?

Whether you call it a road tax refund or a car tax refund, it amounts to the same thing – it’s money back on any vehicle excise duty (VED) that you’ve already paid. You’ll only get a refund on full months and not partial months, so time your refund well to avoid missing out.

You can get a refund for a number of reasons such as if you’ve:

• Sold or transferred your car – you’ll be expected to tell the DVLA you’ve sold your car as soon as possible, if you delay you could be fined. You’ll receive a cheque in the post within six weeks and if you have a Direct Debit, it’ll be cancelled automatically. You can tell the DVLA you’ve sold or transferred your car online: Gov.UK, tell the DVLA.

• Taken out a SORN – any remaining months will be refunded back to you by cheque within six weeks from the DVLA. A SORN stands for ‘statutory off road notification’ and you can only apply for one if your car is off the roads and parked in a private driveway, land or garage. It won’t apply if your car is parked on a public road even if it’s not being driven. You can apply for a SORN at Gov.UK, make a SORN.

• Scrapped your car – if you’ve decided to scrap your car (sob) then you’ll need to take it to what Gov.UK calls an ‘authorised treatment facility’ or scrapyard to the rest of us. You’ll have to give the scrapyard your logbook (V5C certificate) but make sure you keep the yellow part of it (V5C/3), you can tell the DVLA you’ve done this online at Gov.UK, sold your vehicle to the motor trade You’ll receive confirmation and a refund – make sure you follow all the instructions on the government website because delays could affect the amount of refund you receive.

• Exported your car – if you decide to leave the country for more than 12 months and take your car with you, you’ll need to tell the DVLA by filling in part 4 of your V5C logbook (but keep the rest). Send it to the address on the V5C form along with the details of where the refund should go if you have a new address abroad. If you’re off for less than 12 months your car still remains subject to UK laws that means you’ll need to keep it taxed.

• Changed it so it’s in a different tax band – if you’ve made amendments that have decreased (or increased) the amount of car tax you need to pay such as changed the engine size or fuel type, then you’ll need to use a V70 form available from Gov.UK. You’ll also need to enclose written evidence to show what changes you’ve made (such as a letter from the garage that made the change). If you’re owed a refund, it’ll come in the post within six weeks. The V70 form is applicable only if your car tax is not due to run out.

• Changed it so it’s exempt from VED or in a different tax band and tax is due to run out – if you’ve made changes to the car that make it exempt or alters the tax band and the tax is due to run out, you’ll need to find a Post Office that deals with vehicle tax. You’ll need to remember to take:

o your V5C logbook (or new keeper supplement)
o your vehicle tax reminder (if you have it)
o an MOT certificate (or certificate showing it’s exempt)
o evidence for the reasons why your vehicle is either exempt or entitled to a reduction.

The Post Office will send off your request and if you’re entitled to a refund you’ll get it in the post within six weeks.

What else should I know?

If you’re after a refund on your car tax, chances are you’ll be looking for a new car, in which case you’ll need to insure it, so if this is the case then you’re in luck. As the UK’s largest comparison site, we’re in poll position when it comes to searching for the right deal on car insurance, so don’t waste your time looking anywhere else when you can comparethemarket right here.

car and money

Looking for a Quote?

Get a new car insurance quote in seconds and start saving

Get a quote