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How to Check Whether Your Car is Taxed

Jack Dreyer | Wednesday 3rd August 2022 8:00am

The words 'Vehicle Tax' are written on the road as markings while a white car drives over them in the top left corner.

Whether you call it ‘road tax’, ‘car tax’, or the proper name, ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ (VED), vehicle tax is something we all have to pay.

For car owners, it is just another necessary expenditure that allows us to keep our cars on the road — just like servicing or taking out car insurance. But how do you know when to tax your car and if it’s been taxed successfully? Read on to find out more.

What is car tax?

Simply put, the taxation on vehicles is just one of the ways in which the government collects tax.

Every driver must purchase tax for their car on an annual basis. This money is then pooled into a central government fund which is used for projects such as road maintenance that benefit all road users.

How much does car tax cost?

Depending on numerous factors, car tax will vary for different drivers. The two primary factors that determine what band your car tax will fall under are:

  • The car’s age
  • The emission levels

Electric vehicles and some classic cars (over 40 years old) are fully exempt from paying tax. On the other hand, some vehicles must pay several hundred pounds each year. If a car was manufactured before 1st March 2001, it is taxed on its engine size. If it was produced between this date and 1st April 2017, its tax will be based on its official CO2 emissions. After this date, it is only the first year rate that is based on CO2 emissions.

You can find out exactly how much your road tax will cost with GOV.UK’s Road Tax Calculator. For more information about how to renew your road tax see here.

A man uses a calculator to work out his car tax while a set of car keys and piled up coins sit in the foreground.

How to check whether your car is taxed?

Checking whether your vehicle is taxed is crucial to remain on the right side of the law. As well as this, you’ll need to check that the details of your car are present and correct while keeping any payment information up to date.

Another reason why checking your vehicle tax is essential is in the event that you let a friend or relative borrow it or you have just purchased it from someone. So how do you check your car tax, then? There are two key ways.

1. Get a dealer to check for you

You could ask a registered dealer to check it for you. Dealers have access to the registration database of the government. All you have to do is use their website to log in and enter your car’s details. Then, as a small fee, you can see a history of information about your car. Be careful, though, not all dealers are legitimate.

2. Use the Vehicle Enquiry Service

You can also rely upon the Vehicle Enquiry Service run by the Government. This service allows you to see a whole host of information for any vehicle. All you need is the registration plate. Just a few of the things this service allows you to find out about a car include:

  • The vehicle make
  • The date of first registration
  • If it is taxed and when it is due
  • If it has an MOT and when the next is due
  • Its CO2 emissions
  • The fuel type and cylinder capacity
  • The vehicle’s status, colour, and type

The service also allows you to view different tax rates for the vehicle too.

A yellow sticker is stuck to the windshield of a car. The sticker reads "This is an untaxed vehicle".

Stay compliant with Kwik Fit

And there you have it, it has never been easier to check whether your car is taxed in order to stay on the right side of the law.

That being said, there are also plenty of other legalities to consider when owning a car. For a start, your tyres must have a tread depth of over 1.6mm and you must have a regular MOT schedule.

Luckily for you, Kwik Fit can help with all of these things. Get in touch with your local Kwik Fit centre and see for yourself.




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