Driving Without Road Tax

If you have been accused of driving without road tax, the expert team of motoring specialists at JMW has all of the experience necessary to help you mount a strong defence against the charges. We will provide the guidance you need to make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of minimising or avoiding punishment, which can include a hefty fine or your vehicle being clamped, impounded or even crushed.

To take advantage of the expert legal advice provided by JMW, get in touch today. Simply call us on 0800 804 8159 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back as soon as possible. 

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Driving Without Road Tax Explained

It is an offence to either drive a vehicle or to allow someone to drive a vehicle on a road without road tax. Since October 1st 2014, paper tax discs no longer need to be displayed on a vehicle. Drivers have been advised that if they have a tax disc with time left to run after this date, it does not have to stay on the inside of their windscreen - they can now remove and destroy it. People with a Northern Ireland address also no longer have to display their tax disc, although they must ensure their MoT disc remains visible.

Drivers are still required, however, to possess vehicle tax in order to keep their vehicle on the road. When your vehicle tax is reaching its expiry date, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will send you a V11 or V85/1 renewal reminder, giving you enough time to get things sorted. The rules are applicable to all types of vehicle, including those that have a nil rate of Vehicle Excise Duty or are exempt from payment of vehicle tax.


A Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) should be made if you intend to keep the car off road and not drive it. Without it, you could face the same penalties as those imposed for driving with no tax. What's more, the car does not have to be on the road for the DVLA to know you have committed an offence.


If you have been caught driving without road tax, you could be in line to receive a significant fine. The penalties for this offence are listed below:

  • Driving without road tax - A fine of up to £1,000 or five times the annual road tax fee
  • Causing or permitting someone to drive without road tax - A fine of up to £1,000, or up to £2,500 if the vehicle can carry more than eight passengers
  • Failure to display road tax - A fine of up to £200
  • Using a vehicle when liable to pay road tax at a higher rate - A fine of up to £1,000 or five times the difference between the tax rates calculated at the annual rate

In addition, you could also face the possibility of your car being clamped or impounded. Seeking expert legal help is therefore essential in helping to minimise the likelihood of receiving a penalty that could have a significant effect on your finances and also your livelihood. The team at JMW has the experience to help you build a robust defence and will guide you throughout the legal process.


Being caught or accused of driving without road tax does not necessarily mean you will have to face a penalty. In some instances, you may be able to fight the charge by putting together a solid defence with the help of an expert legal team.

Some defences available for when you are accused of driving without road tax can include:

  • If the vehicle was stolen
  • If you were not the keeper of the vehicle
  • If the vehicle was not used on a public road
  • If your road tax expired but you were in a 'grace period' following this date

Even if none of the above defences are applicable to you, it may be that your particular circumstances mean you are still able to mount a strong defence. JMW can help you identify the right route to take and help you build the strongest defence possible. 

Why Choose JMW?

The team at JMW is hugely experienced in helping people who have found themselves facing an allegation or charge of driving without road tax. We understand this often complex area of law inside out and can help you work towards a defence that will give you the best possible chance of securing a favourable outcome. 

Talk to Us

To find out more about how we can help if you have been accused of driving without road tax, contact our motoring team today. We can discuss your situation in more detail and explain the options available to you. Simply call us on 0800 804 8159 or complete our online enquiry form and we will call you back at a convenient time.

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