How to Set Up and Update Your Direct Debit With the DVLA

Learn everything you need to know about setting up and updating your direct debit with the DVLA and how to do it easily with our guide.

Changing payment details

Easily Set Up and Update Your Direct Debit With the DVLA With Our Guide

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One of the most significant gifts of the 21st century is the implementation of Direct Debit in the UK. No longer do we have to worry about forgetting to pay things on time — it’s all automated! From bills to utilities and, yes, even your vehicle excise duty payments can be set up with the Direct Debit system.

So, what exactly is Direct Debit, and how can you set up your payments to the DVLA on this system? More importantly, how do you update your Direct Debit instruction? We’ll answer all those questions and more in this comprehensive guide. 

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What Is a Direct Debit?

In the UK, a direct debit is a way to make payments for things you regularly pay for, like utility bills or subscriptions. This also includes settling your vehicle tax with the DVLA! Basically, it works by giving permission to the company or organisation to automatically take money from your bank account to pay for anything you owe.

To set up a direct debit, you’ll need to give the company your bank details and let them know how much and how often you want to pay. Once you’ve set it up, the payments will be automatically taken out of your account on the dates you’ve agreed on.

Direct Debits are different from standing orders because you don’t have to remember to make the payment yourself each time. It’s a really handy way to make sure your regular bills get paid on time without any extra hassle. Just remember that you can’t set up a Direct Debit for an account that needs two signatures to approve transactions!

How Do You Set Up Direct Debit With DVLA?

Direct Debit DVLA
Credit: GOV.UK

If you own a vehicle in the UK, you’ll need to pay vehicle tax every year to drive it legally on public roads. One way to make this payment process more convenient is by setting up a Direct Debit to pay for your vehicle tax automatically. Honestly, it’s a great way not to have to worry about missing payment deadlines!

Are you a vehicle owner, but you’ve never set up a Direct Debit for your vehicle tax? Not to worry! Here’s how you can do just that:

Online via GOV.UK

Setting up a Direct Debit for vehicle tax is a simple process that you can do online via the GOV.UK DVLA portal. You’ll need to provide some basic information to the DVLA to get it sorted. Be sure to have these details handy:

  • Your address and date of birth.
  • The name of your bank or building society, account number and six-digit sort code.
  • The reference number from either your V11 tax reminder letter, the vehicle’s V5C log book or the green (V5C/2) “new keeper” slip from the log book if you’ve just bought the vehicle.

    Once you’ve got that, you need to decide how often you want to make the Direct Debit payment for your vehicle tax. There are three timeframes you can choose from:

  • Annually
  • Semi-yearly (every six months)
  • Monthly

Just be aware that if you decide to pay monthly or semi-yearly, there’ll be an extra 5% surcharge!

How Do You Update Your Direct Debit With the DVLA?

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If you’ve already set up a Direct Debit with DVLA and need to update the instruction, there’s nothing to worry about! It’s just as easy to update your Direct Debit instruction as it was to set it up in the first place. All you have to do is bop back over to the GOV.UK DVLA portal, really.

However, depending on what details you want to change, you’ll have to do things slightly differently…

Change payment details

When you want to change your payment method or details in relation to the Direct Debit you’ve set up with DVLA, the steps you need to take aren’t too difficult. Regardless, pay attention to what we’ve got to say in this section because you’ll have different steps to take depending on what you want to do in relation to your Direct Debit! If you mess up your Direct Debit instruction, not only will you miss your future vehicle tax payments, but you’ll get fined, too!

Changing bank account details

If you’re upgrading your bank account or switching banks, the bank can move your present Direct Debit instructions pretty easily. When you’re doing it this way, you don’t need to inform DVLA.

However, if you’re considering switching Direct Debit instructions to a bank account that you already own — even if it is with another bank — you’ll need to contact the DVLA and provide them with the details of the bank account you want to switch the instruction to. You’ll also have to get in touch with the DVLA if your bank is unable to sort out the Direct Debit instruction update within its own systems!

Be sure to contact DVLA at least five working days before your next payment is due! And when you ring them up, be sure to have these details handy:

  • your new account number and sort code, and/or

  • your new bank or building society’s name and address

Updating to a credit or debit card

If you’ve decided to switch over from using Direct Debit and would rather pay your vehicle tax using your credit or debit card instead, the steps are quite a bit different. Pay extra attention here!

To change your payment method, you’ll need to…

  1. Get your bank to cancel the current Direct Debit instruction. Be sure that you do this no later than five days before your next vehicle excise duty payment is due!

  2. When your next payment is due, pay your tax through the same GOV.UK portal as when you set up your Direct Debit.

  3. Instead of creating another Direct Debit instruction, pay the vehicle tax dues using your credit or debit card.


Change how often you pay

Now, if you want to change how often you pay your vehicle excise duty — from monthly to annually or vice versa —there are a few specific steps you’ll need to follow.

  1. Cancel your current Direct Debit instruction by informing your bank. Again, remember to do this with a maximum five-day buffer period to your next payment!
  2. Hit the GOV.UK vehicle tax portal again on the first day of the month that your next payment is due. You’ll need that 11-digit number from your V5C logbook to help you here.
  3. Go through the process of setting up a Direct Debit, but when you get to the frequency, you select your new preferred payment schedule instead! Bingo presto, your new Direct Debit schedule’s all sorted.

Will Your Direct Debit Be Affected By Moving Homes?

Don’t worry, if you move to a new home and change addresses, you don’t need to update your Direct Debit instructions. They should continue to work as normal. But that’s only the short answer.

You might not be aware, but when you move homes, you must update your address with the DVLA. One big reason for this is so that the agency can send that V11 letter to the right home! It’s definitely worthwhile getting sorted ASAP so you don’t risk missing your next vehicle tax payments and getting hit with big fines.

Moving to a new home can be an exciting time, but it can also be a bit of a hassle. One of the biggest headaches can be updating your address with all the necessary services. It’s easy to forget one or two, which can lead to missed bills, lost packages, and other issues. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem!

At Slothmove, we understand how frustrating it can be to update your address with multiple services. That’s why we offer a convenient online change of address service that takes the hassle out of the moving process. With us, you can change your address with all the necessary services, like the DVLA and NHS, in one go! No more worrying about missed bills or lost packages — we’ve got you covered.

Final Thoughts

A really great thing about setting up a Direct Debit with the DVLA is that it takes all the stress out of remembering to make your vehicle tax payment each year. You won’t need to worry about manually making the payment because it will automatically be taken out of your account on your chosen date. This is an amazing way to save yourself time and hassle and avoid any pesky late payment fees or penalties that can sometimes sneak up on you!

However, if you’ve moved homes since the last time you paid your vehicle tax, remember that you need to update your address with DVLA! Save yourself some future grief and get that sorted as soon as you’ve moved homes. Better yet, update your address with all the important services as you move homes with our handy service — all you need to do is fill out this form, and we’ll get in touch!  ✨


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