Remember the old days where taxing your car meant traipsing to the Post Office with your MOT certificate and insurance documents? The government abolished the little circular tax discs back in 2014, as the DVLA moved to an online system instead. From a driver’s perspective it’s much easier as you can get your car tax online at any time of the day or night, and don’t need hard copies of your MOT or insurance documents. Despite the changes in the system, you still need a valid MOT to tax your car, and drive it legally.
Taxing your Car Online
The government website is designed to be able to recognise which cars need a MOT and which don’t. So if your car is under three years old, you won’t be asked to enter a MOT certificate number as the system will recognise your car is too young to need one. Similarly, if you drive a classic car which is more than 30 years old, the system will recognise that it’s too old to require a MOT. Many classic cars over 30 years old don’t pay car tax either. If your car falls between those two limits, you will need a MOT.
Using the Website
The tax your vehicle website has been designed to be as simple to use as possible. The first thing you’ll need is the 16 digit reference number from the green V11 reminder form which you receive in the post when your tax is due. Enter the number, and you’ll then be asked to confirm the details of your vehicle. Check details of the make, model and colour are correct, as this determines how the tax is calculated. In general, less polluting vehicles with smaller engines pay less tax. Electric vehicles don’t pay any tax at all. Bands of tax change regularly according to government policy, and you can always look up the latest tax bands online.
The MOT Certificate
Since the MOT system has moved online, the design of the certificate has changed too. You will still receive a statement of the MOT pass or fail, with the certificate number clearly printed on the top. However, this looks more like a computer print out than the official certificate which we’re used to. All you really need from this certificate though is the number. Plug in all the relevant details into the website and then enter your credit card details to pay your car tax.
When you pay your tax online, this is automatically updated on the DVLA and police database. Police don’t need to go through the process of manually checking paper tax discs any more. Police cars are fitted with automatic software which will make a noise when a car with no tax or no MOT passes. In theory, it should make it much more difficult for people to get away with not having their car taxed. Not having car tax or a valid MOT on your car results in fines, points on your licence and in the worst case scenario, having your car towed away and crushed.