How To Check If A Vehicle Is Taxed – 2024 Guide

Every vehicle needs to be taxed. It’s a simple rule that gets different interpretations in different countries. In the US, the official term is a registration fee. While in the UK, they call it car tax.

Regardless of where you live, you have to register your vehicle once you buy it. But car tax is a whole other thing. In the UK, car tax is paid each year. Every vehicle requires it and you won’t be allowed to register it without it.

But how do you check if a vehicle is taxed? Here is a 2024 guide that explains how.

Vehicles Exempt From Car Taxation

Before we move further, we have to discuss the fact that some vehicles don’t require tax. Here is a list that explains which UK vehicles don’t need it.

  • If a vehicle owner registers their vehicle for off-road, then they’re exempt from taxation.
  • If the owner buys an environmentally-friendly vehicle that costs less than £40,000 and produces zero emissions.
  • The owner owns a vehicle that is older than 40 years. These types of vehicles are considered historic.

Vehicle owners with a disability are also exempt in the UK from paying tax on their cars.

How To Check If Your Vehicle Is Taxed?

Now we come to the part of the article where UK readers can read more on how to check if their vehicle is taxed. Fortunately, doing that is very easy.

Everything in today’s world can be done online. With the emergence of online services, they make it easier for us to check things without going to the appropriate authorities.

Even the appropriate authorities give you means how to do that. For UK drivers, you can head to the official website and navigate to the driving and transport section where you will find the vehicle tax tab.

As we mentioned earlier, you can also do that by using third-party websites that do an equally good job. To find them, simply go on Google and look up the answer yourself.

The US also exempts car taxation in certain situations. The State Department for Motor Transportation website can tell you more about that.

Note that every country requires vehicle tax. Otherwise, you won’t be able to drive your car. Whenever buying a used car, you are still eligible for tax if the car doesn’t fit in those specific categories. This becomes a problem for many buyers who look to buy used. The problem occurs when the previous owner doesn’t cover the costs to tax their car.

Every other country has its own means to check if vehicles from those countries have been taxed. In Indonesia, you can click here to know more on how to check.

Car Tax And Electric Vehicles

Since car tax is all about CO2 emission levels, many buyers pose the question of whether electric cars need to be paid taxes. The short answer is no. Since electric cars emit no CO2, they are exempt from any form of taxation.

This is a positive sign that the world looks to move past diesel and petrol engines. The EV industry is growing by the year. China, Europe, and the US are the leaders in this industry. They manufacture more hybrid and EVs than any other region in the world.

More so, electric cars are eco-friendly and the way to move forward. While they are costlier, they are also exempt from the £40,000 expensive-car rule. However, this rule only came to be just last year. Owners of electric cars don’t have to pay any sort of tax until 2025.

What About Hybrids?

Hybrids are different than fully electric cars. The main difference is that they can also run on alternate fuel. Since all forms of alternate fuel emit CO2, that means you will pay tax. But the rate varies drastically from a car that runs purely on petrol, diesel, or another form of fuel.

Hybrids are even more popular than fully electric cars since they’re easier to manage. Depending on where you live, the rates will vary slightly or more. In the UK, you pay only £10 less, so it doesn’t make that big of a difference.

How To Check the Next Tax Date?

Plenty of people find it difficult to know when they need to pay car tax. Since you need to do it every year, there are a few ways to check the upcoming date. Namely, car tax is paid every year, but you can pay it in three ways.

You can pay it in a lump sum, six-month installments, or twelve months. It’s safe to say that the cheapest option is to go with the first one. If you pay the whole sum in whole, then you won’t have to pay the fees. These fees aren’t anything big but some people do prefer to pay in whole.

Also, paying in whole eliminates the issue of having to set reminders to send the next payment. While the process is becoming more and more automated, you need to make sure that auto-renews are enabled to eliminate this issue.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Car Tax?

Here is where things get complicated. Not only are not allowed to drive your car, since you can’t ensure the vehicle if you haven’t paid the tax, but you also get a fine.

The fine is a standard £80 fine, but it cuts by half if you pay it fast. Namely, pay it within the first 27 days and you won’t have any problems. But fail to do that and the file will keep getting bigger and bigger. It’s not unusual for these fines to reach up to £1,000.

In such severe cases, you will also run into a problem with the police.


Since every country requires a car tax, it’s important to pay it otherwise you won’t be able to drive your vehicle. Make sure to read more on the specific terms and conditions that exempt you from paying, and whether you find yourself in that category of drivers.