How to cancel car tax and get a car tax refund

September 30, 2022 by

Looking to sell your car? Well, you might be wondering what happens with your car tax.

The good news is it’s pretty easy to cancel it and get a refund on any months you’ve already paid for — all you have to do is let the DVLA know.

Read on for a full guide to how to cancel your car tax, when you might be eligible for a refund, and exactly how to get your money back.

What reasons can I have for cancelling car tax?

You’ll need to let the DVLA know your reason for cancelling your car tax. It must be for one of the following reasons:

There are no other allowed reasons for cancelling your car tax. If you drive on the road without it, you can be fined £80 by the DVLA — which is reduced in half if paid within 28 days.

If you’re caught by the police though, it could result in an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice of up to £1,000 and your car may be seized.

How to get a car tax refund in 3 steps

  1. Inform the DVLA why you’re cancelling your car tax
  2. Wait for the DVLA to automatically process the cancellation
  3. Await your refund cheque in the post

How do I cancel my car tax?

You need to get in touch with the DVLA to cancel your car tax, and the easiest way to do this is to use the online service. Rather than the process being one dedicated to cancelling road tax, it’s part and parcel of the reasons listed in the first section. So if you’re telling the DVLA you’ve sold a car, getting a refund is part of that process. The same applies if you’re scrapping a car, declaring it SORN, and so on.

If you’d prefer to speak to someone directly though, the same website has a webchat service dedicated to vehicle tax, and a contact email address.

If you want to get in touch by post, send your enquiry to:

SA99 1AR

What paperwork do I need to cancel my car tax?

You can’t just cancel road tax with a car’s number plate – obviously that would cause chaos. Instead, you need official forms, such as you car’s V5C logbook, or a V11 road-tax reminder form. These forms will have a code on them which will be required in order for the refund to be processed.

How much will my car tax refund be?

If you pay your car tax by direct debit, your car tax payments will be automatically cancelled by the DVLA. If you’ve already paid for a full year’s car tax, you will be issued a refund for any full months left on your car tax.

If you request a refund within a year of the car being first registered, you will be eligible for a refund based on whichever is lower: the first tax payment when you registered the vehicle, or the rate for the second tax payments onwards.

This is calculated from the date the DVLA receives the information — not when you send it. Keep that in mind when picking how you want to contact them.

If you pay by Direct Debit, this will also be automatically cancelled. As Direct Debits tend to be for people who pay for their road tax on a monthly basis you will be unlikely to receive a refund, as the DVLA only refunds complete months.

How will my car tax refund be paid?

We may live in an electronic age of instantaneous payments, but road tax refunds are still paid by cheque, which will arrive at the address to which the car was registered.

How long does a car tax refund take?

The DVLA advises that road tax refunds should come through within six weeks of being applied for, though many people receive their cheque sooner than this.

What if I don’t receive the car tax refund I’m owed?

If you don’t receive a refund, you’re able to contact the DVLA if eight weeks have passed from the date of cancellation.

If for some reason the cheque arrives with the wrong name on it, return it along with a note for the correct name to:

Refund Section
SA99 1AL

If you don’t hear back within four weeks, get back in touch with the DVLA.

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