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Can You Drive a Car Without Tax When You Buy It?

So you’re looking to buy a new car. Whether you buy it brand new or second hand, you’ll have to drive your lovely new car home. And that means you’ll have a few practicalities to consider.

One thing that confuses many people is the question of car tax. Can you drive a car without tax when you buy it? If you’re stopped by the police on the way home, will they penalise you for driving without car tax?

It’s a tricky issue! So let’s take a look at what the law says.

When Can You Drive Without Car Tax?

Long story short, it’s illegal to drive without car tax, but there are some scenarios where driving without car tax is unavoidable.

Unless you meet certain criteria, the only time you’re allowed to travel without car tax is when you’re driving to a pre-booked MOT test.

We’ve covered the question of when you can drive without car tax here.

Can you drive a car without tax when you buy it?

No, you can’t. UK law says that all cars must be taxed at the point of sale.

If you buy your car brand new from a dealership, they should take care of the tax for you. They’ll either do this online or over the phone, and they’ll make sure everything’s sorted before they hand over the keys.

If you’re buying your car second hand from a private individual, you’ll probably have to take care of things yourself. Car tax is not transferred from one owner to another. So when you buy a car second hand, the seller should give you the car’s logbook – which is also known as the V5C registration certificate. Use this certificate to tax the car online, and make sure everything’s sorted before you drive your new car home.

Can You Drive A Car Without an MOT When You Buy It?

It depends on how old the car is when you buy it. Most cars don’t need an MOT until the third anniversary of their registration. So if you’re buying your car brand new from a dealership, you won’t have to worry about driving home without an MOT.

Car’s that are three years or older need a fresh MOT test once a year. If you’re buying your car second hand, ask the seller for the car’s MOT certificate. This will let you know of the date of the car’s last MOT test, and you won’t have to worry about getting another MOT until 12 months after this date.

You can read our complete guide to when you’re allowed to drive without an MOT here.

Can You Drive A Car Without Car Insurance When You Buy It?

It’s illegal to drive without car insurance – even if you’re driving your car home having just bought it.

Like car tax, dealerships will sort out your insurance before they let you drive your new car home. Most likely, they’ll get you some temporary insurance to cover your journey home. You’ll then be able to sort out some proper coverage when you get home.

If you’re buying your car second hand, you’ll have to make an arrangement with the seller. Once you’ve agreed to buy their car, offer to come back the next day. This will give you time to sort out your insurance, so you’ll be able to drive your new car home with the cover you need.

Some drivers may prefer to take the risk, and just drive home uninsured. Let us explain why this is a terrible idea. NEVER drive uninsured!

At Go Girl, we specialise in giving careful drivers the cover they need at an affordable price. Get in touch for a free quote.