How to cancel car tax and get a car tax refund

Looking to sell your car? Well, you might be wondering what happens with your car tax.

The good news is it’s pretty easy to cancel it and get a refund on any months you’ve already paid for — all you have to do is let the DVLA know.

Read on for a full guide to how to cancel your car tax, when you might be eligible for a refund, and exactly how to get your money back.

How to get a car tax refund in 3 steps

  1. Inform the DVLA why you’re cancelling your car tax
  2. Wait for the DVLA to automatically process the cancellation
  3. Await your refund cheque in the post

How do I contact the DVLA?

The easiest way to get in touch with the DVLA is to head to its website. Tap here to head straight to its page on cancelling car tax.

If you’d prefer to speak to someone directly though, the same website has a webchat service dedicated to vehicle tax, and a contact email address.

If you want to get in touch by post, send your enquiry to:

SA99 1AR

What reasons can I have for cancelling car tax?

You’ll need to let the DVLA know your reason for cancelling your car tax. It must be for one of the following reasons:

  • The car has been sold or transferred to someone else
  • You have declared it off the road (SORN)
  • It has been written off by your insurance company
  • You’ve had it scrapped at a vehicle scrapyard
  • The car has been stolen
  • It has been exported out of the UK
  • It’s been registered as a tax-exempt vehicle

There are no other allowed reasons for cancelling your car tax. If you drive on the road without it, you can be fined £80 by the DVLA — which is reduced in half if paid within 28 days.

If you’re caught by the police though, it could result in an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice of up to £1,000 and your car may be seized.

How much will my car tax refund be?

If you pay your car tax by direct debit, your car tax payments will be automatically cancelled by the DVLA. If you’ve already paid for a full year’s car tax, you will be issued a refund for any full months left on your car tax.

If you request a refund within a year of the car being first registered, you will be eligible for a refund based on whichever is lower: the first tax payment when you registered the vehicle, or the rate for the second tax payments onwards.

This is calculated from the date the DVLA receives the information — not when you send it. Keep that in mind when picking how you want to contact them.

If you pay by Direct Debit, this will also be automatically cancelled and you’ll receive a refund for any

What if I don’t receive the car tax refund I’m owed?

If you don’t receive a refund, you’re able to contact the DVLA if 8 weeks have passed from the date of cancellation.

If for some reason the cheque arrives with the wrong name on it, return it along with a note for the correct name to:

Refund Section
SA99 1AL

If you don’t hear back within four weeks, get back in touch with the DVLA.

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