taxing a car with temporary insurance

Taxing a Car with Temporary Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide

taxing a car with temporary insurance


Obtaining temporary insurance is often a practical decision when driving a car for a short period, whether it’s a rental, a borrowed vehicle, or a newly acquired car awaiting permanent insurance. However, understanding the nuances of taxing a car with temporary insurance is crucial to avoid any legal complications or penalties. This guide will delve into the intricacies of this topic, providing comprehensive information and addressing common queries to help you navigate this process confidently.

Types of Temporary Insurance and Their Implications for Taxation

Short-Term Insurance

Short-term insurance policies typically cover vehicles for a duration of 1-28 days, providing flexibility for temporary driving needs. For taxation purposes, short-term insurance premiums are not tax-deductible, meaning they cannot be claimed as an expense when calculating your taxable income.

Extended Temporary Insurance

Extended temporary insurance policies offer coverage for longer periods, usually up to 6 months. These policies are often used when permanent insurance is not yet in place or for individuals who drive infrequently. Extended temporary insurance premiums are also not tax-deductible.

Taxing a Car with Temporary Insurance: Understanding the Regulations

Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN)

If you’re not using a vehicle, even if it’s temporarily insured, you must declare it as off the road by submitting a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). This declaration exempts you from paying vehicle excise duty (VED). Failure to SORN a vehicle can result in fines.

VED Tax Exemption for Temporary Insurance

If you have paid VED for a vehicle and subsequently take out temporary insurance, you may be eligible for a refund of the unused portion of the tax. To claim the refund, you must provide proof of the temporary insurance policy and the dates of coverage to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Tax Implications for Different Vehicle Types

Private Cars

Private cars with temporary insurance are generally subject to the same tax regulations as those with permanent insurance. However, if a private car is declared SORN, it will be exempt from VED during the period it is off the road.

Commercial Vehicles

Commercial vehicles used for business purposes may be eligible for tax relief on temporary insurance premiums. The specific regulations vary depending on the type of vehicle and its usage. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional or the DVLA for guidance.

Renewing Temporary Insurance: Tax Considerations

Impact of Renewing Temporary Insurance

Renewing a temporary insurance policy does not affect the tax liability associated with the vehicle. You will continue to pay the same amount of VED or receive the same refund, as applicable. However, it’s essential to note that continuous renewal of temporary insurance policies may raise questions about the genuine nature of the temporary usage.

Transitioning to Permanent Insurance

When transitioning from temporary insurance to permanent insurance, the tax implications remain the same if the vehicle is continuously in use. You will pay the appropriate amount of VED based on the date of commencement of the permanent insurance policy.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Driving a Vehicle with Expired Temporary Insurance

Driving a vehicle with expired temporary insurance is a serious offense. It can result in fines, penalty points on your driving license, and even vehicle seizure. Additionally, you may be liable for any damages or injuries caused while driving without valid insurance.

Failure to Declare a Vehicle Off-Road

If you fail to declare a vehicle SORN while it’s not in use, you could face fines and penalties. It’s important to remember that even with temporary insurance, a vehicle must be declared SORN if it’s not being driven.


Taxing a car with temporary insurance requires an understanding of the specific regulations and implications. By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure compliance with the law and avoid any unnecessary penalties or complications. Whether you’re considering short-term or extended temporary insurance, it’s always advisable to consult with a tax professional or the DVLA for personalized guidance.

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