Changes to DVLA rules regarding vehicle tax have led to confusion and misinformation regarding what to do when you buy a new car privately or through a dealership.

DVLA Notification of Purchase

The seller is responsible for notifying the DVLA of the vehicle’s sale along with the new owner’s details. The DVLA will then automatically refund any remaining full months of tax to the seller and send a V5C registration certificate (or logbook) to the buyer. You should receive the new V5C within 6 weeks of purchase. If it doesn’t arrive you will need to contact the DVLA.

You must tax the vehicle before you can drive it on public roads.

Test drives are possible using trade plates, as this allows the car to be driven without tax. You cannot drive your new car to the post office to get your tax.

Tax cannot be transferred.

The previous owner must register their sale with the DVLA, which leaves the vehicle untaxed.

Sometimes dealerships will sell a car with tax. What this means is that they pay the tax on your behalf. The tax will still need to be bought in your name.

There are 3 methods of taxing your vehicle:

You will need the vehicle registration and V5C/2 new keeper supplement

DVLA website

• DVLA phone: 0300 123 4321

• Post Office: you need to take your V5C/2 new keeper’s supplement, plus a valid MOT certificate. If you don’t have the MOT certificate, then the Post Office should be able to check the electronic records.

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