Car clinic: What are the rules for tax discs and classic cars?

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Triumph TR6

Q. My Triumph TR6 was built in January 1974 and registered in March the same year. I’ve paid £230 vehicle excise duty (VED) for a year up to the end of May 2015. Am I right that my car will qualify as a “classic” as of next year and therefore will no longer require a tax disc? And does that mean that I’ll qualify for a refund on the months for which I’ve already paid?
PG, Heswall, Wirral

A. The rules on what constitutes a classic or historic car changed on April 1. All cars registered before 1974 are now exempt from VED, and from April 1, 2015, your car will join them as the exemption rolls forwards to include another year of production. Classic-car owners have to apply for the exemption each year, though, and display a tax disc — at least until paper discs are phased out in October.

Owners who have paid VED will be entitled to a refund from the DVLA when their car becomes exempt. But there’s a small catch: you cannot apply for VED exemption until the car qualifies — in your case, after April 1, 2015 — and the DVLA will then only refund tax for “full calendar months” remaining. So you will miss out on the refund for the month of April — at a cost of about £19 — although you will be able to claim for May.

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When the time comes, apply for your historic-vehicle VED exemption direct from the DVLA using the standard V10 form, accompanied by your MoT and insurance documents and V5C registration certificate.

Use form V14 to apply for the tax disc refund. Both forms are available to download at

Sunday Times Driving car clinic expert: Dave Pollard

Dave Pollard has written several Haynes manuals and has tested just about every car-related accessory – read more from Dave here.

Email your question to or write to Car Clinic, Driving, The Sunday Times, 3 Thomas More Square, London E98 1ST, with a daytime phone number, your address and as much detail about your car as possible. We can’t reply in person, so don’t send original documents or SAEs. Advice is given without legal responsibility.