Car tax, road tax, Vehicle Excise Duty – whatever you call it, you probably don't enjoy paying it. We've talked before about the things you can do to minimise what you have to pay. Every year, more electric and eco-friendly cars hit the market, bringing VED costs down. What if you're getting rid of your car altogether, though? For instance, maybe you're switching to a company car provided by your work (we can help you with the rules for that too, by the way). What happens to the tax you've already paid?

Scrapping or selling your car

The good news is that, if there's any tax left on your car when you sell or scrap it, you can get it back. You actually don't have to jump through many hoops to get it, either – which is pretty unusual for HMRC. All you do is let the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) know you're getting rid of the car.

There's a slight difference in the process, depending on whether you're selling it or scrapping it at a recycling centre. You use section 9 of your V5C/3 certificate for selling it on, while a recycling centre will give you a Certificate of Destruction to use.

When your car is off road

Even if you're not getting rid of your vehicle, there are times when you might be due some tax back for it. For instance, if you're going to be away from home for a while, it might be worth declaring it as off the road. If you do this, you can claim back the remaining tax you've paid for any full months you won't be using the vehicle. The first thing to do is tell the DVLA you'll be off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

You can do this online, by phone or through the post. Again, your tax refund should come through automatically. If it doesn't, you need to start making some noise at the DVLA about it. All being well, you'll get a cheque in the post within 6 weeks or so.

If your car is stolen or written off

Don't forget that there are plenty of other reasons why your car might be off the road. It might have been stolen, for instance, or written off by your insurance company. Even exporting it out of the UK could still score you some tax back.

Tax Refunds for travel

The other thing to remember is that, even if you're no longer using your vehicle for work, you can still claim travel tax refunds.

Switching to public transport still qualifies you for tax relief, if you're travelling to temporary workplaces.

We've even had clients using their refunds to buy and refurbish historic cars -which can have some tax advantages, too. For example, most cars built or first registered before 1977 don't count for vehicle tax at all. If they date back before 1960 they don't even need MOT certificates! That's the kind of insider info we can give you if you're with RIFT!

If you're a mechanic and working on vehicles all day then there's a lot of ways we can help you, whether PAYE or self employed,

However you're getting to work, there's no reason to give the taxman more than you owe him.

Talk to RIFT about travel tax refunds, and find out for free how much you should be claiming back.