Tax must be paid on virtually all vehicles that are registered in the UK – and that includes HGVs.
However, not all drivers are following the rules. According to data from the Department of Transport, the number of untaxed vehicles on UK roads has trebled since paper tax discs were scrapped in 2014.
How to tax an HGV
For lorries that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes when loaded, you need to get HGV tax. If you have taxed the vehicle before, you will usually get a reminder letter. You can apply to renew your tax by filling in an application form – V85, which is available on the government website.
You can apply in person at a post office that deals with vehicle tax, and you will need to take the vehicle log book (V5C) with you.
Road tax on a truck is in addition to the HGV road user levy that must be paid by all businesses and owners operating trucks on the UK’s roads.
What is the penalty for driving without tax?
It is illegal to drive a vehicle without tax. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but HGVs and other large vehicles don’t tend to fall into that bracket.
It is almost impossible to get away with driving a vehicle which is not taxed because the DVLA runs monthly checks for all vehicles that are registered in the UK.
That means, if you drive a truck, you need it to be taxed.
The DVLA system can check if a vehicle is taxed and, if not, there is an automatic fine of £80. If you are able to pay the fine within 28 days, you should receive a 50% discount. Either way, you will not receive any points on your licence.
However, if you fail to pay the fine, the consequences get more serious. You could face prosecution and the penalty fine could increase to as much as £1,000 if the case ends up in court. The DVLA is also able to clamp your vehicle until the tax has been paid.
Don’t risk driving without tax
With such serious consequences for driving without vehicle tax and the process of applying for tax so simple, there is no excuse for driving without it.
Tim Burton, DVLA head of enforcement, said: “It’s never been easier to tax your [vehicle], so there really is no excuse.”
Stay alert to avoid HGV tax scams
There have been reports of drivers receiving emails from scammers pretending to be from the DVLA. The email implies that the recipient is entitled to a refund on their vehicle tax. After clicking on a link, the recipient will then be asked to provide certain personal information, such as postal address and bank details.
The DVLA has urged drivers to be vigilant and not fall for these fake emails. The DVLA said: “We don’t send emails or text messages that ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information, such as for a vehicle tax refund.
“If you get anything like this, don’t open any links and delete the email or text immediately.”
It’s a simple job to check if a vehicle is taxed. Don’t get caught out.