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Helpful guidance

Helpful guidance

Do you ever think "when's my MOT due, exactly?" Or does something crop up to make you ask "where do I go for that?" Wouldn't it be handy to have one place you can go for such things? Welcome to Helpful Guidance...

Check an MOT & tax

You can quickly and easily check the MOT and tax status of any vehicle on the DVLA website.

You might want to check your own vehicle or perhaps a vehicle you're thinking of buying. All you'll need is the vehicle's make and registration number.

Check MOT and tax with DVLA »

Check MOT history

You can check the MOT history of any vehicle on the DVLA website.

You can see if - and exactly why - a vehicle's failed in the past, and what's been fixed for it to pass. Great to check before buying any used vehicle.

Check MOT history with DVLA »

Tax your vehicle

You can tax your vehicle with a reference number from any of the following:

(1) a recent reminder (V11) from DVLA
(2) your vehicle log book (V5C)
(3) the green 'new keeper' slip

Tax your vehicle at DVLA »

SORN your vehicle

If you're taking a vehicle off the road for a while, you need to tell DVLA by making a SORN here.

You'll need the 16-digit number in your vehicle tax reminder letter, or the 11-digit number on your vehicle's log book (V5C).

SORN a vehicle with DVLA »

Get a log book (V5C)

You can apply by phone or send form V62 by post to get a replacement V5C vehicle registration certificate.

You can get a replacement if your original V5C has been lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed or you haven't received the V5C for your new vehicle.

Get the DVLA's V62 form »

Challenge a parking fine

You have 28 days to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) with the local council that issued it.

If you do so within 14 days and your challenge is rejected, you may only have to pay 50% of the fine. This is only available in England and Wales.

Challenge a parking fine »

Data-check a used vehicle

Buying a used vehicle is easier when you know the important things to check.

Our handy short guide - with links to the relevant DVLA pages - highlights what to check before you go to see the vehicle and while you're there.

Read our short guide »

Driving abroad

DVLA have a short guide to what you need to know if you're planning on driving abroad.

This includes what documents and equipment to take with you, and links to check the rules for driving in the EU and the rest of the world.

Go to DVLA's guide to driving abroad »

Check DVLA's vehicle data

All you need is the vehicle's make and registration number to check:

• Vehicle tax status
• Date of first registration and year of manufacture
• Cylinder capacity (cc)
• CO2 Emissions
• Fuel type
• Registered vehicle colour
• Vehicle weight

Check a vehicle's details with DVLA »

Appeal an MOT failure

You have the right to appeal a failed MOT test by filling in a VT17 form. You can get the form from any MOT test centre, or call the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) on 0300 123 9000.

Your appeal must be received within 14 working days of the test. VOSA will offer an appointment within five days to recheck your car, but the full test fee must be paid again. Some or all of the test fee will be refunded if your appeal is successful.

Get the VT17 form at VOSA »

Update your driving licence

Failing to update your driving licence with your current address runs the risk of a £1,000 fine. This also applies if you fail to update your photo, which is a legal requirement every 10 years.

It's free, and you can change your driving licence address by post or online - although you'll need a Government Gateway ID to do it online, which is an account you can then use to login to a range of online government services that need this authorisation.

Update your driving licence at DVLA »

Accident blackspots

CrashMap is an amazing tool: you can view all the accidents in any area of the UK flagged on a map. You can filter your results by year, and also by seriousness of accident (light/serious/fatal), then click on any given flag to find out even more, all based on official reports.

If you want to see where the accident blackspots are in your local area, or somewhere you're travelling to, CrashMap is the ideal tool.

Go to CrashMap »

Helpful articles

Turn around and find another route, or press on? Some helpful tips for driving through flood water (if you have to)

Driving through deep water can damage your vehicle and could leave you with an expensive repair bill, not to mention the fact that you could be left stranded. Crucially, it could also result in your claim being denied by your insurer, if it's proven that you've deliberately driven through a larger amount of water than your vehicle can adequately cope with.

Full details »

If you're struggling financially due to coronavirus, you may welcome the Chancellor's promise to implement mortgage payment holidays

The payment holiday provides flexibility by allowing you to stop or reduce your monthly payments for up to three months. This won't be suitable for everyone but could provide much needed help if you need it, although you need to be aware that this is not free money and you will be required to pay this back when your payments start again after the payment holiday.

Full details »

What do the size numbers on tyre sidewalls actually mean? A lot of people don't know, so here's a quick explanation

Those numbers on the sides of your tyres... are they just industry gibberish that only people in the know can understand? No; they're actually quite simple and rather handy once you know what they all signify. They're not just useful to know the next time a tyre garage asks you what size tyres your car has; they also tell you a lot about what your tyres can cope with.

Full details »

How does the UK's vehicle number plate system actually work? Here's a quick and simple explanation

You probably know what the numbers mean - but what about the letters? Since 2001, a standard British plate has seven characters. The first letter is a general area code. So cars registered in London carry plates starting with "L", and cars registered in Birmingham start with "B", and so on. The second letter refers to the local DVLA office.

Full details »

 

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