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Motorcycle tax
28 June 2024 - 5 min read

Taxing your motorcycle in the UK

Road tax or vehicle excise duty (VED) is a levy paid annually to the UK government through the DVLA for all vehicles registered for use in the UK - including motorcycles. The cost of your motorcycle tax will depend on your vehicle's engine size.

In the UK, it's against the law to ride a motorcycle on public roads without a valid road tax, insurance or MOT. It's imperative to tax your motorcycle soon after its purchase, or you might be facing a fine. 

Cost of road tax

Your motorcycle tax is determined by weight and engine size. The prices are reviewed and updated by the DVLA periodically. Below are the rates applicable from 1 April 2024 for tax class 17 motorcycles (with or without a sidecar, weighing no more than 450kg). 

Engine size below 150cc Rate
 Single 6 month payment   N/A
 6 months by Direct Debit  N/A
 Single 12 month payment  £25
 Single 12-month payment by Direct Debit  £25
 Total of 12 monthly installments by Direct Debit  £26.25

 

Engine size 151 to 400cc Rate
 Single 6 month payment   £30.25
 6 months by Direct Debit  £28.88
 Single 12 month payment  £55.00
 Single 12-month payment by Direct Debit  £55.00
 Total of 12 monthly installments by Direct Debit  £57.75

 

Engine size 401 to 600cc Rate
 Single 6 month payment   £46.20
 6 months by Direct Debit  £44.10
 Single 12 month payment  £84
 Single 12-month payment by Direct Debit  £84
 Total of 12 monthly installments by Direct Debit  £88.20

 

Engine size over 600cc Rate
 Single 6 month payment   £64.35
 6 months by Direct Debit  £61.43
 Single 12 month payment  £117
 Single 12-month payment by Direct Debit  £117
 Total of 12 monthly installments by Direct Debit  £122.85

Motorcycles over 450kg must be taxed in the PLG tax class (tax class 11) which can be found in the V149 table. 

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Paying your motorcycle tax

Required documents

For newly purchased motorcycles, you need the new owner slip from the seller to tax your motorcycle. 

If you have owned the motorcycle for some time, you would need either:

  • The most recent vehicle registration document (V5C/log book)
  • A tax reminder notification from the DVLA

Note: While you are no longer required to provide proof of a valid MOT before you can tax your motorcycle, you cannot tax your motorcycle without a valid MOT.

Taxing your motorcycle without a log book

If you do not have a log book/V5C you can tax your motorcycle using the tax reminder sent by the DVLA. In the event you have neither of these documents you need to apply for a replacement V5C log book. 

Tax payment methods 

There are now simpler ways to tax your motorcycle with more payment options at your disposal than ever before. You can opt for either of the below:

Online 
You are able to tax your motorcycle online with options to make a single payment (12 months or 6 months) or set up a direct debit for installment payments.

By phone
You are also able to tax your motorcycle using the dedicated 24-hour telephone service provided by the DVLA. This option restricts users to single payment of 6 months or 12 months only.

At the Post Office 
You are also able to tax your motorcycle at any post office branch offering this service. Payment options available include single payment for 6 or 12 months, or installment by direct debit.

You will need the documents already mentioned as well as your payment card details if you are making a single payment. If you are setting up a direct debit for installment payments, you will need bank/building society details.

Possible exemptions

Your motorcycle is exempt from paying the annual road tax under these conditions:

It's been declared off the road
Inform the DVLA that the motorcycle is no longer in use and will not be used on a public road. It must either be stored in a private facility or a garage.

The user is disabled
If the rider is registered as disabled they would need to inform the DVLA, as this may exempt them from paying annual motorcycle tax.

It's an electric vehicle
While these are exempt from paying road tax, owners still need to apply for a motorcycle tax of £0 to continue to use it on public roads.

It's a classic motorcycle
Most vehicles that are 40 years and older, including motorcycles, qualify for an exemption from vehicle excise duty. You may also be able to register your motorcycle as a vehicle of historical interest, and those are exempt from both MOT testing and road tax.

These rules are similar when taxing other vehicles including electric cars. You can find more information on road tax rates for cars in our other article.

FAQ

 

Yes, you can check whether a motorcycle is taxed by visiting the vehicle registration enquiry service webpage on the DVLA website.
Yes, you can tax your motorcycle online on the DVLA website. You will need the reference number from your V5C or green ‘new keeper’ slip.
No, you cannot tax your motorcycle without valid insurance and MOT certificate. Riders need to have a valid MOT, motorcycle tax and at least a third party insurance to ride your motorcycle on public roads.
Yes. Any complete month of the remaining year’s road tax will be refunded when you notify DVLA you have sold, scrapped or declared your motorcycle off the road.

 

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