Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Best 1976 Buys -

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!

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