Updated March 2019
In the UK, all cars which are over 40 years old qualify for tax exempt status in the April after the year in which they turn 40. As the last Stag was completed at the Canley factory on 29th June 1977, all Stags now qualify for tax exempt status in the UK.
Please note that the qualifier is the date of manufacture and not the date of first registration.
How To Do It
In order to be able to claim your ‘free tax’ you will have to arrange for the ‘Taxation Class’ in your V5C Registration Document to be changed from ‘Private/Light Goods (PLG)’ to ‘Historic’ and this is done by completing Section 7 of the V5C (bottom left hand side of page 2). As it says, this can only be done when taxing your car but it can be done at a Post Office, the mechanism being that you show the man/woman behind the counter that the car is 40 years old and they change the information at DVLA through their direct wi-fi link. Then they are able to complete your tax application at no charge. They should then take your V5C, duly completed with the change of Taxation Class details and send it to DVLA. DVLA will then issue a new document with the new details so that next time you tax the car, it will be a straight forward process.
‘Free tax’ does not mean that you don’t need to tax the car, it means that the charge for doing so is nil.
Problems Which You May Encounter
You may encounter a Post Office person who doesn’t understand the system (rare nowadays). Either persevere or try a bigger Post Office.
You may not be able to show that your car was manufactured before June 1977 – this is normally because the date of first registration is after December 1977, possible because of your car being slow to sell or because it was previously registered overseas. Although the Club used to be able top provide evidence that the car was actually built within the qualifying time, DVLA no longer accept this validation from car clubs. The way forward to prove the date of manufacture is to apply to the British Motor Museum Archive Department for a Heritage Certificate as this shows the date and is accepted by the DVLA. To find out how to get this certificate, please google ‘BMIHT Certificate’ and click through to the relevant page. You will need the Standard Heritage Certificate.
The Archive of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (BMIHT) preserves the surviving records of some of the most famous names in British motoring history. The Archive department offers the proud classic car owner a Heritage Certificate which is a certified copy of the entry against the chassis number in the authentic factory ledgers. Discover the original numbers and colour scheme, dates of build and dispatch, and where available, the details of factory fitted equipment. For more information please see the British Motor Museum Website: www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/archive/heritage-certificates