When Can You File for Vehicle Tax Refund?

Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency or DVLA is very strict when it comes to Vehicle taxation. One of their main goals or target is to ensure that everyone who is required to pay the vehicle tax will pay – in other words, decrease tax evaders tremendously.

Before we tackle, how you can file a vehicle tax refund let us first discuss why you need to pay vehicle tax in the first place.

In the UK, if you are utilizing a vehicle of any type in the public roads – then your vehicle is subject to Vehicle Excise Duty or Vehicle tax. However, if your vehicle is not used in the public roads, you can file a SORN or Statutory Off Road Notification for you to be exempted with VED.  VED is being strictly collected by DVLA. The collection is utilized for the improvement of DVLA services and processes, road safety projects, assistance on road-related crime resolutions, aid in environmental initiatives and many more.

The bases of car vehicle tax rates are fuel type or engine size and CO2 emissions, and depending on the vehicle registration date. You can easily calculate your vehicle’s tax in DVLA’s website.  If you want to apply, you can do so by submitting V5C registration certificate or your new keeper supplement (V5C/2) or your last chance warning – this is in case you didn’t receive your reminder letter. Other methods you can try are: calling via phone through the DVLA contact number or drop by the nearest post office.



Now, what are the instances when you can request for a refund or get your VED cancelled? Here are the most common scenarios:

  • If you are exported – If you are leaving the UK for more than 12-months then you can file for notification of permanent export. Refund will be provided usually within 2-6 weeks .If you already left the UK, you need to fill out the V561 certificate of permanent export, and you need to use V756 when applying to this one. If you are just moving your vehicle within Great Britain and Northern Ireland, there is no need to do this. Simply file for change of address in the V5CNI certificate and send back to DVLA.
  • If the vehicle has been sold or transferred – You will need to provide DVLA the 11 digit reference number from the latest registration certification which is the V5C and the permission of the buyer or seller incase you are the authorized representative. Remember that tax isn’t transferred when the vehicle is sold. The refund will be processed right away and is automatically refunded to the current V5C.
  • Made a SORN or Statutory Off Road Notification – if you have filed this, then your vehicle tax can be cancelled.
  • When your vehicle has been Scrapped at an Authorised treatment facility – there will be a time when you have to finally let go of your vehicle because its use finally ended. You need to bring your vehicle to an authorized treatment facility (ATF)


For stolen vehicles, you will not receive automatic refund. You will have to file the request at DVLA.

The provided turn around time for refunds is within 4-6 weeks; if you haven’t gotten your refund then you have to contact DVLA. Refund cheque is sent to you for the full months remaining on the vehicle tax. Be sure that the name and information on your V5C registration document is accurate because this will be where DVLA will be sending the refund, then your vehicle tax direct debit will be automatically cancelled