How to cancel road tax – the ultimate guide

    If you sell your car or transfer ownership to someone, you can cancel your road tax and get some money back. You can also do this if you’re taking it off the road for storage or scrappage reasons. 

    Luckily, although cancelling road tax can feel daunting, the DVLA have made it as simple as possible. This article is a step-by-step guide on how to successfully cancel your road tax, covering everything from filling out the V11 form to sending off your documents to the DVLA.

    So, follow along and get ready to experience stress-free road tax cancellation!

    Why do you need road tax?
    How to cancel your road tax
    How much will your tax refund be?
    What to do if you don’t receive your tax refund
    Selling your car?

    The amount you pay in road tax depends on the size and emissions of your vehicle.

    Why do you need road tax?

    Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – also known as ‘road tax’, ‘vehicle tax’, and ‘car tax’ – is linked all the way back to the taxation of Hackney carriages in the 1600s, however, it wasn’t formally introduced until 1937.

    Enforced by the DVLA, road tax is an annual levy imposed on vehicles registered for road use. The tax goes into a governmental ‘consolidated fund’ that was set up in 1926 by Winston Churchill (who was the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time) and is used for funding local projects, improving the nation’s transport infrastructure, creating better public services and reducing traffic congestion. 

    Car owners in the UK are legally required to pay the road tax in order to drive on public roads. If you are caught driving an untaxed vehicle, you will be fined £80 by the DVLA – halved to £40 if paid within 28 days. However, if you’re caught driving an untaxed car in a public area, you could be issued a fixed penalty notice of up to £1,000­ – and your car may be seized!

    There’s more information on how to tax your car in our guide.

    How to cancel your road tax

    To cancel your road tax, you must officially inform the DVLA that your vehicle has been one of the following:

    • Sold or transferred to someone else
    • Taken off the road – this is called a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)
    • Written off by your insurance company
    • Scrapped at a vehicle scrapyard
    • Stolen – you’ll have to apply for a refund separately
    • Exported out of the UK
    • Registered as exempt from vehicle tax

    You will also need to provide the DVLA with the following in order to cancel your road tax: 

    > Your name, address and postcode 

    > A valid V5C logbook confirming yourself as the registered keeper 

    > A payment method – such as a credit or debit card

    The step-by-step guide on how you cancel your road tax with the DVLA

    • Check when your current vehicle tax runs out. You can find this online at the DVLA website or by looking at your V5C logbook. 
    • Next you need to complete a V11 form. This too can be found online or at any UK Post Office branch.  
    • Then you submit your V11 form online through the GOV.UK website or by post
    • Lastly, wait for confirmation from the DVLA that they have received your cancellation request
    how to cancel road tax
    The old car disk has now been replaced by a digital record system.

    How much will your tax refund be?

    Direct debit payments will automatically be cancelled by the DVLA at your instruction. Once the cancellation is confirmed, you’ll be issued a refund cheque for any full months left on your vehicle tax.

    Refunds are calculated from the date the DVLA received your information. Cheques are sent to the name and address on your V5C logbook – no money will be returned directly to your bank account. You can find more information on car tax refunds here.

    What to do if you don’t receive your tax refund

    After six weeks, if you haven’t received your road tax refund, then you’ll need to contact the DVLA directly via phone or email. 


    To email them, visit the DVLA page on the GOV.UK website and use the agency’s dedicated email service, selecting the email specifically for ‘Vehicle Enquiries’ from the list of options.


    You can call the DVLA on 0300 790 6802. 

    Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, and on Saturdays from 8am to 2pm. Charges apply at 10p per minute from a landline and up to 40p per minute from a mobile.


    You can write to the DVLA via their Vehicle Customer Service Team at:



    SA99 1AR

    Selling your car?

    If you’re looking to find the best way to go about cancelling your road tax because you’re planning to sell your car – then do it the Motorway way.

    We offer a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling your car, whatever the model.

    Head to Motorway’s website and enter your reg on the homepage to be issued with an instant estimated sale price based on market data. You’ll then be asked a few easy questions about your car, and be guided through the photos you need to take for your vehicle profile. All this can be done straight from your mobile in a matter of minutes. 

    If you opt to enter your car into a daily sale, it will be shown to our nationwide network of more than 5,000 verified dealers. Interested dealers will then compete to buy your car, offering you their best price.

    5,000+ dealers compete to give you their best price every day in our daily sale.

    In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, your car will be collected for free by the dealer and the money will be quickly and securely transferred to your bank account.

    Need to know more about road tax?

    Check out more of our guides here, covering everything about the admin and paperwork you need to know about when selling your car – to ensure you always stay on the good side of the DVLA and avoid fines!