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Exemptions from paying vehicle tax
The law requires that vehicle tax should be paid for any vehicle used or kept on a public road in the UK. Certain vehicles are exempt from paying vehicle tax, however, these vehicles still require to be taxed annually and are issued with a nil or free tax disc.
How to obtain your free road tax
Applications for vehicles first being taxed as 'exempt' must be made at a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) local office or Post Office®. The application must be made on a V10 accompanied by supporting documentation as listed in the link below. Future tax renewals can take place using the tax renewal reminder forms that will be sent by the DVLA.
Vehicles exempt from paying vehicle tax
The following are entitled to a free vehicle tax disc.
Vehicles for disabled people
Vehicles used by or for the purpose of a disabled person who receives the higher rate of the mobility component of disability living allowance (DLA) or a war pensioners mobility supplement or who drives an invalid carriage.
Old vehicles constructed before 1 January 1973 (historic vehicles)
All vehicles except buses and lorries used commercially, that were constructed before 1 January 1973 may tax in the 'historic vehicle' tax class.
Limited use vehicles
A vehicle is exempt if it is used solely for purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture or forestry, it is used on public roads only in passing between different areas of land occupied by the same person and the distance it travels on public roads in passing between any two such areas, does not exceed 1.5 kilometres.
The "agricultural machine" tax class includes:
- an agricultural tractor - a tractor used on the public roads solely for the purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture, forestry or activities falling within cutting verges bordering public roads and cutting hedges or trees bordering public roads or bordering verges which border public roads
- an off road tractor means a tractor which is not an agricultural tractor and which is designed and constructed primarily for use otherwise than on roads; and incapable by reason of its construction of exceeding a speed of 25 miles per hour on the level under its own power
- agricultural engine - a machine specially designed and or converted to perform an agricultural operation on the land (eg a combine harvester)
- light agricultural vehicle - means a vehicle which has a revenue weight not exceeding 1000kg, is designed and constructed so as to seat only the driver, is designed and constructed primarily for use otherwise than on roads, and is used solely for the purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture or forestry
The term "mowing machine" may be taken as a vehicle which is designed and constructed purely for cutting grass and which is used solely for that purpose (but not a tractor used to tow gang-mowers, which is to be licensed as agricultural machine).
Steam powered vehicles
All steam powered vehicles are exempt from paying vehicle excise duty (vehicle tax) from 1 April 2001.
Electrically propelled vehicles
The term "electrically propelled vehicle" means one where the electric motive power is derived from a source external to the vehicle or from any electric storage battery, which is not connected to a source of power, when the vehicle is in motion.
Electrically assisted pedal cycles
The exemption applies to vehicles that meet certain criteria specified in the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983. These are that the vehicle must be fitted with pedals by means of which it is capable of being propelled and the kerbside weight must not exceed 40 kilograms (bicycles) or 60 kilograms (tricycles). The electric motor output must not exceed 0.2 kilowatts (0.25 kilowatts for tricycles) or be capable of propelling the vehicle when it is travelling at more than 15 miles per hour.