Vehicles exempt from vehicle tax

Some types of vehicle are ‘exempt’ from vehicle tax. This means it’s free to tax them.

You must tax your vehicle even if you do not have to pay.

This page is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You do not have to pay if you have one of the following types of vehicle.

Vehicles used by a disabled person

You can claim disability exemption when you apply for vehicle tax. Find out if you’re eligible and how to claim.

You can remove an exemption from a vehicle if it’s no longer being used by a disabled person.

Disabled passenger vehicles

Vehicles (apart from ambulances) used by organisations providing transport for disabled people are exempt.

Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs

The law calls these ‘invalid carriages’. They must have a maximum speed of 8mph on the road, and be fitted with a device limiting them to 4mph on footways to be exempt.

Historic vehicles

Vehicles made before 1 January 1980 are exempt.

Electric vehicles

The electricity must come from an external source or an electric storage battery not connected to any source of power when the vehicle is moving to be exempt.

Mowing machines

The mower must be designed, constructed and used just for cutting grass to be exempt. It does not include tractors used to tow gang mowers.

Steam vehicles

You do not have to pay vehicle tax on any steam-powered vehicle.

Vehicles used for agriculture, horticulture and forestry

This includes tractors, agricultural engines and light agricultural vehicles used off-road. It also includes ‘limited use’ vehicles used for short journeys (not more than 1.5 kilometres) on the public road between land that’s occupied by the same person.

  1. Step 1 Check the vehicle before you buy it

    You'll need the vehicle's registration number, make, model and MOT test number. You also need to see the V5C vehicle registration certificate (log book).

    1. Check the details you've been given match DVLA's information
    2. Check the vehicle's MOT history
    3. Check if the vehicle has been recalled because of a safety issue
    4. Check the log book isn't for a stolen vehicle
  2. Step 2 Buy and register the vehicle

    Once you've bought the vehicle, you have to register it. How you register it depends on whether it has a V5C registration certificate (log book).

    1. Find out how to register your vehicle
    2. Get a vehicle log book if you don't have it £25
  3. and Register for MOT reminders

    You must get an MOT for your vehicle every year once it's 3 years old.

    1. Get a reminder when your MOT is due
  4. Step 3 Insure the vehicle

    You must have insurance before you can use your vehicle on the road.

    1. Check if your vehicle is insured on the Motor Insurance Database
    2. Read about vehicle insurance
  5. Step 4 Tax the vehicle