What You Should Know About Motorcycle Road Tax

If you are a motorbike rider in the UK, then you probably know that all motorcycles on the roads are taxed. Now known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), motorcycle tax or road tax refers to the tax bike owners have to pay for literally driving on any road in the UK. This tax covers road-related expenditures such as road building and repairs. Motorcycles are taxed based on their engine size (CC), so the higher your engine’s CC, the higher your tax rate. If you don’t know your engine’s size, you can find out your bike’s engine details on your vehicle registration document.

Here are a few things you should know about motorcycle road tax;

Not Having VED is Bad News for your Insurance.

While you may argue that this legally makes no sense, there is a portion of your insurance policy which states your vehicle must be legal for road use and compliant with VED guidelines or else risk invalidation. Motorcycle tax is not transferable with the bike.

Selling and Buying a Bike

If you sell your bike, any full month’s tax remaining from the DVLA will be automatically reverted to you as soon as the DVLA is aware of the sale. If you buy a used bike ensure you tax it before riding it. To pay for your tax, use the reference number on the new keeper supplement (V5C/2) from the logbook and pay via any of your preferred methods. Paying online is probably the best option if you are in a hurry.

You Call the Shots

Due to several governmental reforms, paper ‘tax disc’ was stopped in 2014. This means you don’t need to stick tax discs to your motorcycle, nor will one be sent to you as soon as you pay your tax. Now, there are notably three different ways through which you can pay your VED;


Paying your VED at the DVLA website is probably the fastest and most hassle-free of all the methods. All that is required is your necessary details, and it is over in a jiffy.


You can also pay your road tax via phone. The DVLA has a 24 hours hotline through which you can reach them. All that is required is your logbook (V5C). Contact the DVLA on 0300 123 4321.

Post Office

This is probably a much slower method compared to the other two but is an excellent option if you love getting things done in person. To pay your road tax over the counter, all you need is your logbook, cash and a valid MOT certificate (optional).

It’s Inexpensive

Road tax is relatively inexpensive; many riders buy up to six or twelve months of VED starting from when the bike is purchased or used for the first time. Currently, motorbike tax costs are as follows.

Engine size (cc)          Annual rate/6-month rate

Up to 150                       £19.00 N/A

151-400                         £42.00 N/A

401-600                       £64.00 £35.20

Over 600                     £88.00 £48.40

No Road Tax for Classic Bikes

All motorbikes have to pay VED, except bikes that are over 40 years old. However, classic bikes still require VED registration.