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Thread: If your car tax has just expired, can you still drive your vehicle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Lightbulb If your car tax has just expired, can you still drive your vehicle?

    I have just been reading a thread on another forum. Some people claim that if you are driving a vehicle without valid car tax disc then that also invalidates your insurance. Is that true?

    Surely, you still have a few days grace.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    7,939

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    No it is not true. You can legally drive to a pre-booked MoT appointment with no car tax, just insurance. This allows you to restore older cars. You cannot lawfully drive on the road without car tax (there are a few exceptions) and that is the more serious offence. There is also the offence of failing to display a valid road fund licence (tax disc) which is the lesser offence. Both are normally prosecuted by DVLA after a report from the police or traffic wardens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Some insurers will invalidate your insurance if you drive with no road tax, as the car is considered 'unroadworthy'. When I did private work some years ago, I used to pay an extra 4 a year to enable me to drive untaxed cars for an MoT after completing relevant work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Firstly, No VEL is a vehicle excise offence and the prosecution is carried out be the DVLA. It is not a road traffic offence per se and so your insurance cannot be vallidated unless there is a specific clause in your insurance policy.

    If you were involved in a crash (bearing in mind that there are times when it is perfectly legal to drive with a VEL as mentioned) and your insurance tried to invalidate your insurance on the basis that it was untaxed and therefore unroadworthy, it would be for your insurance company to prove that not having a valid tax disc contributed to the cause of the crash, and in any case they would still have to honour third party claims.

    Insurance companies have often tried to argue the point that no tax is a sign of being unroadworthy, but (and I will try and did them out) there have been more than a few cases where the insurance company has been left with egg on its face, except those that have made it a specific requirement as part of their T & C's in the policy document.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    I suspect that they would have assumed that no tax = no MOT. These days of computerisation that is not required. However insurers are always looking for reasons not to pay out.

    Just as an aside - The RAC won't recover a car without an up-to-date tax disc + insurance + MOT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    I will quote from the back of my Tax Disc Reminder letter:

    IF YOU CAN'T TAX IN TIME

    We accept that it is not always possible to tax your vehicle on time, for example when getting an MoT or insurance for your vehicle. By law, you as the registered keeper will not be committing an offence if you tax the vehicle or make a SORN within 14 days of the date your current tax disc or SORN runs out. You must keep your vehicle off the road during this time as you will be committing an offence if it is used or kept on the public road.
    It's not an offence if you don't tax it or SORN it within 14 days

    But if you drive, it's an offence (Failing to display a valid tax disc)

    If you get pulled over (you will) - i'm sure you could get away with showing the online order confirmation.

    But i'm not risking that. I have no points - and don't intend on getting any. Not worth the risk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Oh, here we go - found at motorlawyers.co.uk

    I ordered my tax disc online but it has not yet arrived, is it against the law to drive/park my vehicle on the public highway whilst I wait for the disc to arrive?

    Since 1 September 2008, you can legally drive or keep your vehicle on the road up to five days from the end of the month without displaying a valid tax disc

    provided you have made your application online or by telephone before your current vehicle tax/SORN expires.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    379

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Bayliss View Post
    I

    But i'm not risking that. I have no points - and don't intend on getting any. Not worth the risk
    You do not get points for a vehicles excise offence

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC1474 View Post
    You do not get points for a vehicles excise offence
    Ah yeah, but I read it's a hefty fine. Not worth doing. Will pay earlier next time. Lesson learnt ;>

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Bayliss View Post
    Ah yeah, but I read it's a hefty fine. Not worth doing. Will pay earlier next time. Lesson learnt ;>
    Your original point was about getting points.

    Penalty = Fine + up to 5 times the amount of back duty owned

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