How much is motorcycle road tax?

Every motorcycle and scooter vehicle excise duty band. Do you need to tax an electric motorcycle or scooter and are historic motorcycles free from road tax?

Posted: 20 January 2014
by Visordown

What is Road Tax?

We’ve grown up with road tax but it’s now officially known as Vehicle Excise Duty. The display of Tax Discs on vehicles in the United Kingdom all started back in 1921, with the implementation of the Roads and Finance Act 1920. It was originally intended that all revenue raised from Road Tax would pay for the upkeep of UK roads. However in 1937 all revnue from Road Tax was placed in a central pot. While the rate of vehicle tax for cars is based onCO2 emissions, depending on when the car was registered – motorcycles, scooters and trikes have their tax band defined by their engine capacity.

What do I need to tax my motorcycle?

If your motorcycle or scooter is under three years old then all you need is your vehicle’s registration document (V5C) and proof of insurance. If your motorcycle or scooter is over three years old then you will also require a valid MOT certificate.

Where and how can I tax my motorcycle?

You can get your road tax from your Post Office, as long as the DVLA has sent you a reminder form or if you have the V5 registration document, or the green part of it marked V5/2.

These days the easiest way to tax your motorcycle or scooter is online at the DVLA's website. If your motorcycle or scooter is insured and has a current MOT certificate (if it needs one), the DVLA will already have these details - so you just need to complete a few boxes and pay using your debit or credit card. You'll then get your tax disc in the post.

Motorcycle and Scooter tax rates

Motorcycle (with or without sidecar) (TC17)

Engine size (cc)

12 months rate

6 months rate

Not over 150


Not available



Not available




Over 600



Tricycles, Trikes (not over 450kg unladen) (TC50)

Engine size (cc)

12 months rate

6 months rate

Tricycle not over 150


Not available

All other tricycles



Are electric motorcycles and scooters exempt from road tax?

In short: yes. The electricity must come from an external source or an electric storage battery not connected to any source of power when the vehicle is moving.

Are classic motorcycles exempt from paying road tax?

You don’t have to pay vehicle tax on vehicles made before 1 January 1973 (known as ‘historic vehicles’).

Do I need to display my motorcycle tax disc?

All motor vehicles used or kept on public roads must display a valid Vehicle Excise Duty disc (tax disc) displayed at all times. Even motor vehicles exempt from duty MUST display a tax disc at all times. You can buy a secure motorcycle tax disc holder to ensure your tax disc isn't stolen.

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Discuss this story

Just on a small point of order, the only paperwork I needed to tax the bike in the local Post Office yesterday was the V5 - nothing else, though I guess there may potentially be problems if the various databases haven't updated when you go for a renewal.

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 09:41

Tax disc won't be required to be displayed after this autumn.

I have to say it sickens me when I pass cars in traffic belching out fumes that are paying less VED than me. Another 2 fingers up at motorcyclists from the people who should be promoting it as a form of transport.

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 12:10

As a DBA I can but only imagine the holy hell that's going to happen when all this goes digital. Remember when the DVLA were losing individual's entitlements??? Tip of the iceberg I'm afraid...

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 16:24


Posted: 21/01/2014 at 19:00

Bringer of bard news my brand new ktm 500 exc got stolen Monday morning at 1:20 am nerly cort up with them but my bike was way to fast to catch :( if any one knows any thing or can get my bike back I will pay you big money just want it back, the people new what thay were doing and cut a hole in my garage door to get it so if ya bike is in a garage do as much as you can to stop them getting in and getting your bike, I have bin told a silver feaster was driving around my house 5 minits be for my bike got stolen so keep an eye out you could be next. Newport

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 17:30

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