HOW TO CHECK IF YOUR CAR IS TAX EXEMPT
The actual date when a car become tax exempt is 1 April – so if you own a 1976 car, chances are you’ve been paying for the past three months.
The switch to Historic Vehicle status isn’t automatic, so you need to take a copy of your V5c registration document, a valid MoT certificate and an application form for a tax disc to a post office that deals with car tax enquiries.
You should receive a new V5c registration from the DVLA that reclassifies your car as ‘historic’ – likewise any future V11 reminders. If either refer to your car as ‘Private Light Goods’ (‘PLG’) then get straight back onto the DVLA, because it’s still liable for tax. Once the classification’s changed over the agency should refund any tax left over.
However, while taxing a historic car is free, you still have to do it at least once a year or put it on a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Forget this at your peril – fines will apply.
The DVLA says that there’s a little leeway if your car was registered at the beginning of the year; if the date of registration is between 1 and 7 January the assumption is that it will have been made the year before. If your classic was registered at the start of 1977 it’s worth checking whether it qualifies.
One last thing to bear in mind – if your historic vehicle is a bus or goods vehicle that is still being used for commercial purposes, then it’s ineligible for the exemption.
Sorry, Mr Larkin!