A guide to car tax refunds

author image-chloe
By Chloe Dickenson
Updated on Wednesday 26 January 2022

Toy car on notepad

The world of cars and everything that comes with them, from car insurance to road tax to additional breakdown cover, can often get a little overwhelming, especially if you’re not entirely sure what kind of things you absolutely need to pay to be a legal vehicle owner.

Car tax, or road tax as it’s often referred to, is one of the most important things to be aware of as a car owner. However, from time to time, you may find that you’ve either overpaid on your car tax bill or you’ve paid for road tax when you didn’t need to.

In the guide below, we discuss everything you need to know about road tax, including how to know whether you’re owed a refund from your car tax, how much car tax refund you might be owed and how to get a road tax refund at the Post Office.

How to tax your car

In order for you to receive a refund on your car tax, you must have first ensured that it’s taxed properly in the first place before you can legally drive it or park it on a public road.

You can tax your vehicle by filling out the necessary forms online on the DVLA government website or taking the following documents to the Post Office:

  • Your V5C logbook or your V5C/2 if you’ve just bought the car
  • Your V11
  • Your V85/1 (if you have an HGV)

Can you claim back car tax?

In the UK, it is a legal requirement for all vehicles to be taxed if they are driven or parked on public roads. Alternatively, they may be declared as SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification) in which case they don’t need to be taxed. 

A car tax refund is the means of claiming back some of the money you’ve paid for a 6-month or 12-month period to ensure your car is legally taxed for road purposes.

The most common types of road tax refunds occur when someone has sold their car or transferred ownership of it to a new person during the period when they’ve already paid to tax their car.

For example, if someone taxed their car for 12 months but decided to sell it after only 3 months, they are able eligible for a road tax refund of 9 months. However, it’s important to note that you can only claim back for entire month periods, so you won’t be able to get 3.5 months refund, for example.

How do I get a car tax refund?

While you might not always be eligible, if you meet at least one of the following criteria, then you may be able to get a car tax refund.

Take a look at the list below to see how to get a road tax refund if you’re eligible.

  • If you’ve sold or transferred your car to a new owner, you may be able to claim your car tax back if you sell your car while it is still taxed by you.
  • If your car has been declared with a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN), you may be due a SORN car tax refund.
  • If you own a car that is exempt from vehicle tax but you’ve accidentally paid for it in the past, you may be able to get your car tax back.
  • If your car has been stolen.
  • If your car has been scrapped orwritten off” by your car insurance provider.
  • If your vehicle has been exported from the UK.

If you meet any of these requirements, then you will be more than likely eligible for a road tax refund and you will need to carry out the necessary steps to receive your refund from the DVLA.

Car tax refund from the Post Office

There are several ways that you can apply for a road fund licence refund form and one of the easiest and most popular ways is to get a V14 form from the Post Office.

You can also get a V14 tax refund form online via the government website, or you can visit your local Post Office where they will be able to provide you with a form to fill out that will determine whether you’re eligible for a car tax refund.

How much car tax will I get back?

The amount of refund you’ll get for your car tax will be determined by the DVLA.

They will use a road tax refund calculator to see how many months you have left on your vehicle excise duty and how many months you’ve paid for so far.

You will be able to work out approximately how much money you can expect to be refunded once you’ve applied for a VED refund but remember to deduct charges such as Direct Debit surcharges, as well as additional charges for paying for 6 months road tax instead of 12 months if this is the case.

How to get a car tax refund when you sell or transfer your car

In order to claim back road tax when you sell your car, you must inform the DVLA of the sale of your vehicle via post, over the phone or online.

Once you’ve done this, your car tax refund is usually automatically triggered when one of the following happens:

  • When you tell the DVLA that you’ve sold your car by using the yellow section 9 of your V5C.
  • When the scrap place issues your Certificate of Destruction if you’ve sold your car for scrap. 

After this, you can usually expect to receive a cheque in the post from the DVLA around 6 weeks after you’ve notified them of the sale of your car. If you pay for your car tax via direct debit, you may receive a refund payment back into your bank account, rather than receiving a cheque in the post, however, this payment isn’t usually sent immediately and this can also take several weeks to arrive into your bank account.

Latest News