Car tax check

Get road tax

All UK vehicles on this road must have road tax, otherwise known as road fund license. Permits can be obtained for all vehicles via the .gov website

Road tax status

You can check if a car is taxed, MOT'd or insured with a free car check from CarVeto. Useful data includes import, vehicle information and car insurance group/status.

How to get road tax

Tax your motorcycle, car, lorry or other vehicle type by using reference number from one of these vehicle documents:

  • Your V5C DVLA logbook (the vehicle needs to be registered in your name to enable this)
  • A recent V11 reminder form (this might also be called 'last change' via a DVLA final warning letter)
  • Green 'new keepers supplement' (this slip is attached to the current V5C and obtained at point of purchasing the vehicle). The vehicle will not be registered in your name if using this method

Payment is made with a valid credit or debit card, or monthly via bank Direct Debit.

Exceptions and getting road tax

You may qualify for road tax exemption i.e. if disabled or the vehicle is over a certain age. Use this link to learn about exemptions

Changing vehicle taxation class

This occurs when the previous car owner was disabled or if you are disabled and have just bought the vehicle. It is a very important step. Get all the information via .gov.

Other ways to apply for car tax

DVLA contact information
DVLA vehicle taxation
Call: 0300 123 4321

Post office
Most local post offices deal with car tax. Here is what you'll need:

  • Vehicle logbook registered in your name
  • New keeper supplement
Without either of these you must apply for a new V5C logbook via the DVLA V62 form (use link for full article). 
If this is the case for you, you need to register your car with DVLA as SORN until you get a new logbook from DVLA. Here's a useful guide on how to SORN my car

If your vehicle is over 3 years of age, you'll need a current MOT certificate too. You can't tax a car without it. 
Note, MOT data can take a few days to update on the government database. So, there is a minor chance you can't tax your car via this method. 

Car tax explainer

What's an HPI Check?

The hpi check

Myths of a car checking service

Hpi check was founded in 1938 and are the longest standing car history checking service in the UK. 

What does Hpi mean? It is an acronym meaning HirePurchase Investigation (internal link).

But hpicheck is a brand and not a standard vehicle history check.

Is there a free hpi check for drivers?

No, they don’t offer any type of free service. Hpi provides three paid products ranging for £9.99 necessary checks to a full car check as £19.99. There is a multiple purchase product at £29.97 for three tests.

defining an hpi check for motorists
Bought a car with the help of hpi

What do you get in each car check?

Let’s focus on the full check at £19.99 as it is the one you’ll need if you are buying a used car. It includes finance data, write off checks, stolen car checks and National Mileage Register (NMR) history.

These four checks make the most difference when buying. If your hpi car check shows any issues related to these investigations, ensure you look deeper into vehicle history as you may lose money.

Other checks carried out include number plate changes, colour changes, mot and tax history and import or export history. These data points are less likely to determine if the car is a good buy or not. But, they remain essential and should be looked into should your check from hpi show up concerns.

Free check services

Here are some vehicle data check firms that provide a free, initial check. My car check, CarVeto, Total car check. Prices range from £1.99 to £14.99, excluding multibuys.

Other providers not yet mentioned include

RAC passport, AA car check (this is an affiliation programme with hpi check), Autotrader vehicle check.

Prices are like the aforementioned and range from £10 to £20.

Of all providers, CarVeto is the only one to offer a comprehensive, used car buying guide with each full check (Platinum). This product is £12.50 and prices 40% cheaper than hpi’s, and we include our car buyers guide for each customer.

We also have industry-leading customer service and rely on almost 30-years of direct used automotive experience.

What do you get with a free car check?

Getting car check for free before you buy

The best spent money when buying a second hand car has to be a car history check. Reports provide useful background information about a car, van or motorcycle, preferably accessed before you buy. 

The UK vehicle check market is rather competitive with a wide variety of services to choose from. Here are some well known ones you might have used before

  • Total car check
  • AA car check
  • RAC Passport
  • My car check
  • CarVeto
  • HPI check

Some of these services offer a free car check, others only provide a paid car report. 

free car check services in the UK

The essential car data checks

Before paying a holding deposit or buying a vehicle, you need to know if it has history of being a write off, stolen, outstanding finance or mileage problems. 

Note, no free history checks give you this data. It is premium information and costs to buy. 

Car history check service fees vary considerable. You can obtain some of the critical information for just a couple of pounds whist some of the services listed above change almost £20.00. 

What is included in a free car check? 

You will get vehicle details, mot and road tax data, SORN status, import status. Really, a free check allows you to confirm basic information before you buy a premium service. This data is sourced via the DVLA check api

Ensure the car you are buying is genuine and does not have a hidden history. 
A related service includes a car inspection service with providers like Clickmechanic and the AA breakdown.