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Can you transfer car tax to a new owner?

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – or road tax – has become somewhat baffling in the past few years, with several changes to the regulations leaving motorists a little uncertain about what the annual costs are and whether road tax can be transferred to the new owner of a car when you sell it on. Here, we clarify the issues around transference of tax.

As the seller of a vehicle, you’re not permitted to give or transfer any unused road tax to the new owner. So if you bought the vehicle in March, paid for 12 months’ VED and then chose to sell it in November, you would have to apply for a refund on the remainder of the tax cost. The refund is calculated from the beginning of the following month. If you sell, for example on the 8 November, your refund is only calculated from 1 December.

As a buyer, you have to purchase either six months or a year’s worth of road tax from the date on which the vehicle is transferred – and you can’t legally drive it without the tax. The bill for this is calculated from the beginning of the current month, meaning that if you were to obtain the vehicle on, say the 29th of the month, you would still have to pay VED from the 1st.

Obtaining a refund

If you are selling your car, the road tax refund will be sent automatically once the DVLA has received notification that the vehicle has changed hands. It’s important to provide notification – by filling in and returning the relevant part of the V5C document – as soon as possible, or you could be faced with a £1,000 fine.

What about SORN?

Similarly, a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) can’t be transferred to the new owner of a vehicle. The buyer must renew this if they intend to keep the vehicle off-road.

Contact Peoples Ford today for more information regarding vehicle tax and SORN status.