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TAX REFUND

GETTING A ROAD TAX REFUND


Home > Sell my car > Getting road tax refund

If you’re driving a car on public roads in the UK then you are legally obliged to pay road tax (also known as Vehicle Excise Duty). Road tax is usually paid once a year for the year ahead. This means that if you’ve recently taken the car off the road, or if it has changed ownership, then you may have paid road tax for a period during which the car was not your responsibility. In order to fix this, the DVLA allows you to apply for a road tax refund.

To ensure you get the full amount due to you, you’ll need to apply for your refund before the first day of the month that you want your refund to begin. Only the current owner or the owner previous to the current owner of a car can apply for a vehicle tax refund so it’s important to apply relatively quickly after selling your vehicle.

WHEN CAN I APPLY
FOR A ROAD TAX REFUND?

Selling your car is the most common reason for applying for a refund. Once the car is no longer under your ownership the responsibility for paying road tax falls to the new buyer. Road tax is not transferable between cars so you need to cancel and claim a refund on your existing road tax and, if you’re purchasing or using a new car, pay road tax for that vehicle separately.

The same applies when:

  • You transfer the ownership of your car to someone else
  • Your car is being scrapped
  • Your car is exported to a country where you won’t pay UK tax
  • Your car has been stolen (you need to wait at least seven days before applying)

Sometimes a car is re-taxed within a tax year and placed in a tax class that does not require any payment to be made. This is often the case with disabled drivers who are receiving either Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioners Mobility Supplement.

There are instances where owners choose to take a car off the road for a period of time, either for repairs or because they have simply decided not to drive it. The official way of doing this is to issue a SORN (Statutory Off road Notification) to the DVLA. After doing so, you’ll be eligible for the same refund as if you had sold your car.

Your refund is calculated from the date DVLA receives your information and the cheque is sent to the name and address on the vehicle log book. If you pay your road tax by Direct Debit, the Direct Debit arrangement will be cancelled automatically.

CONTACTING THE DVLA

Take a look here to see the requirements and procedures involved in applying for a road tax refund. If you have specific questions, the DVLA operates a Customer Enquiries Hotline on 0300 790 6802, or you can contact your local DVLA office. To find your local office look here. The address for correspondence regarding road tax refunds is: Refund Section, DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AL.

IF YOUR CAR HAS BEEN STOLEN

If you’re contacting the DVLA for a road tax refund because your car has been stolen you’ll need to provide the police Crime Reference No. Many stolen cars are recovered within a few days so, just to be sure, it’s usually best to wait at least a week before you apply for a road tax refund.

REASONS WHY YOUR APPLICATION
MIGHT BE REJECTED

One common reason for an application for a road tax refund being rejected is that the details on your application do not exactly match your log book, for example, if your name has changed and you haven’t provided the correct documentation to demonstrate this.

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