Coronavirus: How can I tax my car during the coronavirus outbreak?

Published 25 March 2020

With life in the UK being put on hold as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, we look at how to tax your car if you're self-isolating or social distancing.

The Government has issued new guidance for drivers who need to tax their vehicle during the coronavirus pandemic, which includes an automatic six-month extension for the MoT test

It means that drivers whose MoT and tax run out over the next six months can still keep their vehicle on the road.

>>> How much will it cost to tax your car in 2020?

You don't have to do anything if your MoT runs out on or after 30 March. The exemption will be automatically issued, which means that you will have a valid MoT certificate and therefore be able to apply for road tax (or Vehicle Excise Duty as it is officially called).

Post Offices are still open but in the light of the current crisis perhaps the best plan of action is to tax your car online

What if I'm self-isolating and can't afford to pay my road tax?

Currently, if your vehicle tax runs out while you’re self-isolating, then the advice is to declare your car SORN’d (statutory-off road notification) if you are unable to tax it.

When you no longer need to self-isolate, you can then book your MoT test and tax your vehicle. 

Garage repair centres are still open and the DVSA has told that its online services will accept applications from vehicles that have previously been SORN'd to save you going to the Post Office.

But what happens if I keep my car on the public road, won't I be fined for declaring it SORN?

Technically, it is an offence to declare your car SORN if it is kept on a public road rather than a driveway or private lane.

Coronavirus: Advice on buying, running and owning a car during the outbreak 



jls35    on 26 March 2020

I take my car for its MOT and annual service on the same day. The MOT renewal may be deferred, but what about the annual service?

Rith Clements    on 27 March 2020

My car tax is due by 30th April to commence 1st May 2020 but my MOT isn't due until 29th May - should I still ny my car tax on line as usual in April - I usually so this around the 20th April before its due to run out. Please help

sean obrien    on 27 March 2020

bought car on the 21 /3/20 . road tax is out 3 months previous owner seller.
did not sorn it.
i was booked in for mot on the 23/3/20 mot station closed
because of corona. ps how can i get my road tax now .
can anyone help with information to move forward pleaaaas.

Alexander Paterson    on 27 March 2020

Government acted on MOT extension to safeguard revenue from excise duty Play fair extend the yearly road tax to 15 months as cars will be parked up for 95 percent of the time over the next few months w

   on 29 March 2020

I taxed my two motorbikes in February 20 I'm now going to lose three months potentially of tax do I get an extension when this is all over ?

Jey    on 7 April 2020

My TAX reminder comes in today. When I tried to pay for it with the 16 digit reference, get a message unable to find MOT. My MOT expires 14th April 2020, government granted 6 months automatic extension. So why I get this message? Any idea why? Thanks in advance.

Ghislaine Hull    on 8 April 2020

Since I posted my question I have found the answer (after much searching!) - basically the MOT will only be extended about 3 days before it was due to expire. Full info is here

   on 7 April 2020

My tax reminder came in today but it won’t let me renew it as can’t recognise that my mot was extended by the government for 6 months. What do I do ?

Ghislaine Hull    on 8 April 2020

Since I posted my question I have found the answer (after much searching!) - basically the MOT will only be extended about 3 days before it was due to expire. Full info is here

Ghislaine Hull    on 7 April 2020

My tax also has come up for renewal with a reminder. I went online to pay, but like others it does not recognize the MOT extension granted by the Government. Please help.

   on 9 May 2020

This Is beyond a joke. So your not and tax run out my mot runs out on the 20th may but my tax runs out on the 1st of june. I went online to tax it again and its says that my car hasnt got an mot but when I use the DVLAs own check service it says it I taxed. So I cant tax it.. it's all well and good saying well the police wont do anything due to the current circumstances but let's face it the fmgang of crooks will they are already enforcing an unlawful removal of our freedoms based on a made up pandemic so why not fleece us some more! Not only that you say to SORN your car what about those that have no where to sore it? Its left on the road again now SORNed. This entire thing is a joke can we get back to some bleeding commonsense stop clapping outside like complete plonkers and go back to normality!

Ed Hills    on 25 May 2020

Can anyone help me please,
Like everyone else, I hit a road block on any kind of certainty of when i would be able to get back to work. I'm self employed, one man band in transport, and ignorantly expected I would have little delay to get back on the road. Due to specific airfreight obligations, it wasn't the case. As times become a blur, expectations of being up and running again seemed dyer. Still I kept hoping I would be back on the road immediately. I decided to delay declaring myself SORN. It's now got to the
point when I gave in my information to DVLA and they're no longer allowing to me to re tax!! I know I made the wrong decision, but it wasn't for the wrong reasons. Is there anything I can do to convince them it wasn't malicious? I want to get myself set up ready for work again and I am unable. Ed Hills

Norman Edwardson    on 4 June 2020

I am currently stranded in Thailand and have just found out my car tax expired end of April I don’t have a debit or credit card so I’m unable to pay hhere till maybe July

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