Vehicle tax: what to do when you buy or sell a vehicle
When you buy a vehicle, the tax or SORN doesn’t come with it.
You need to tax a vehicle before driving it. That includes driving home from a dealer’s forecourt or a private seller’s home.
You must also have motor insurance before using a vehicle on a public road.
How to tax a vehicle you’ve just bought
When you tax a vehicle, you’ll need either your:
- log book (V5C) if the vehicle is registered in your name - use the 11 digit reference number
- new keeper supplement slip (V5C/2) if you’ve just bought the vehicle or the vehicle isn’t registered in your name - use the 12 digit reference number
You can’t use the seller’s V11 tax reminder.
You can tax a vehicle online, at your local Post Office or over the phone.
If you’re a new keeper in Northern Ireland, you need to tax your vehicle at a Post Office branch that deals with vehicle tax. You’ll need an insurance certificate or cover note.
Selling and transferring ownership of a vehicle
The tax or SORN isn’t passed on when you sell a vehicle or transfer ownership to someone else. This includes giving it to a member of your family.
You must tell DVLA when you sell or give away a vehicle. A logbook (V5C) will be sent to the new owner and you’ll get a vehicle tax refund by cheque for any remaining months.
Vehicle tax refunds
- sold or transferred your vehicle
- scrapped it
- exported it
- taken your vehicle off the road and made a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification)
- got a vehicle that’s exempt from vehicle tax
You’ll usually get the refund in 4 to 6 weeks.