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I've received my first tax reminder this week as a BEV driver and was a little surprised to discover than you do have to go through the process of 'taxing' a zero rate car. SORN and insurance reasons aside (isn't the V5 document the place for SORN declaration?) it feels unintuitive and a bit pointless: a reminder to log on and pay nothing...
 

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VW ID.3 Worst Edition & Tesla M3 LR
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It will also be a good check in due course that the vehicle has a valid MOT. When my GTE hit 3 years and I logged in to ‘pay’ £0, I realised the MOT was about to expire.
 

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I'm guessing that it's probably easier to have just the one system in place, rather than one system for vehicles that have to pay road tax and another system for those that don't.
 

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We all know that VED won’t be free for EVs forever and the government has been bitten many times by people saying that a change in process wasn’t communicated well enough to them.
This avoids that, we all have to do it every year at £0 until one day it isn’t.
 

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2020 VW ID3 Life 58kWh
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We all know that VED won’t be free for EVs forever and the government has been bitten many times by people saying that a change in process wasn’t communicated well enough to them.
This avoids that, we all have to do it every year at £0 until one day it isn’t.
I doubt that will happen for existing EVs our other car is in the old band A for petrol which is also £0/yr although if we bought the same car new it would cost £130/yr now. Wouldn't stake my life on it though!

Also if anyone is thinking it doesn't matter if I don't do this it does they will fine you up to £1,000 if you don't tax it even though the tax costs nothing!
 

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Nissan LEAF 24kWh; Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
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It's also an annual declaration by the registered keeper to confirm all details are correct and still current.
 
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Kia Soul EV 2020 64KWh
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It's an administrative process to ensure the other requirements are in place. eg. Once it needs an MOT, If you didn't have one it would not let you complete the tax process, and then you would be liable for having an untaxed car. It ensures that you are forced to get the car MOT'd.

It seems as pointless at the mechanism for free parking in the car parks in Barnsley, where the first 2 hours are free but you have to get a free ticket from the machine. Its to prove what time you came in. Both systems seem pointless but suppose there is method in the madness for both.

The above caught me out when they first introduced it as I was unaware of the change. Parking had always been free on a weekend and it changed to free for only 2 hours (or 3, cant remember). So you started to need a ticket and I didn't know. I got a parking fine because I didn't get myself a free ticket. :(
 

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It also covers them in future if they want to raise the price. If they don’t collect a fee even an administrative one could they lose control of that power as it’s legislation that allows them to tax vehicles. By neglecting that power they might find when they want to raise the price they are not able to
 

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Vauxhall Mokka e Launch Edition May 2021 (nee Ampera Electron May 2012)
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Cost me £40 'fine' for not paying last years 'nothing'. Fairly certain it was their computer glitch but how to prove it? Not usually one for giving in but had other things going on in my life at the time. As it happens I showed them how good the system was by taxing the Ampera three times in a row for nothing. Pointed out that I gained nothing, had always taxed it as part of annual service and mot. They were adamant the computer had sent me a reminder before the fine notice and therefore wouldn't waiver the fee.
I'm fairly certain if you fiddle about on the site you can set up a repeat automatic annual taxing. Certainly going to set that up for the Green Giant (Mokka e) I now possess.
 

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I'm fairly certain if you fiddle about on the site you can set up a repeat automatic annual taxing. Certainly going to set that up for the Green Giant (Mokka e) I now possess.
Unfortunately you can only set up an automatic direct debit for annual taxing - if you have tax to pay. I did this previously for a older Prius that was taxed at £10pa.

Would have been easier if the charged EV's in a different band - say £1 a year then they could be processed in the existing system.
 

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It's an administrative process to ensure the other requirements are in place. eg. Once it needs an MOT, If you didn't have one it would not let you complete the tax process, and then you would be liable for having an untaxed car. It ensures that you are forced to get the car MOT'd.
It's also the only way (short of stopping you & demanding documents) that your car is insured.
 

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It's also the only way (short of stopping you & demanding documents) that your car is insured.
Actually no. The insurers report the car's insurance status directly to DVLA.
Not having insurance should stop you taxing it, but the police can check it at anytime with ANPR and pull you over if the records show no insurance.
 

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Vauxhall Mokka e Launch Edition May 2021 (nee Ampera Electron May 2012)
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Unfortunately you can only set up an automatic direct debit for annual taxing - if you have tax to pay. I did this previously for a older Prius that was taxed at £10pa.

Would have been easier if the charged EV's in a different band - say £1 a year then they could be processed in the existing system.
Initially I was able to set up an annual direct debit for £0. Apparently I was of great help with something called Beta Testing, still fined me though as the computer doesn't lie.
 
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