A Comprehensive Guide to Motorbike Tax

Road tax is a vital piece in the puzzle of riding a motorcycle, unfortunately, as we know, tax is one of two things in life that are certain. Back in the 1920s when roads were starting to become more prominent and important, the government needed to find a way to maintain these roads and funding to back this. That was when The Roads and Finance Act 1920 of 1920 was passed in parliament, they decided to charge a yearly fee to road users that helped to finance the upkeep and maintenance required.

It’s been a part of British history now for 100 years with road users being required to display tax disks on their vehicles for many years (to the dismay of many bikers) before it was switched over to a digital system.

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Every motorcycle must be registered for road tax, however not every motorcycle must pay this tax in 2022, these days the amount that the road user must pay is related to the CO2 emissions emitted by the vehicle, if you ride an electric motorcycle, you do not have to pay road tax but must still be registered.

As mentioned, the prices of road tax are collated with the CO2 emissions produced; usually, motorcycles are split into brackets relating to engine size and cubic capacity.

The way in which it is paid also affects the price with additions added for anyone who opts to pay monthly instead of annually and a higher charge for 6 monthly payments also.

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Below you can see the prices for each class of motorcycle and their CC:

Engine size (CC)Single 12-month paymentSingle 12-month direct debit paymentTotal of 12 monthly Direct Debit paymentsSingle six-month paymentSix months by Direct Debit
Including and under 150cc£21£21£22.05N/AN/A
Anything over 600cc£96£96£100.80£52.80£50.40

As you can see, it’s a simple guide that fits within the margins of motorcycle licenses, riders on CBT’s/A1 licenses riding scooters/mopeds and 125cc motorcycles can expect to pay £21 a year.

Riders who have passed their A2 license riding restricted motorcycles within the 151-400cc mark can expect to pay more than double their A1 counterparts at £45 a year, if an A2 rider is riding a restricted machine up to 96HP they can expect to pay £69 between the 401-600cc bracket and £96 a year for any motorcycle over 600cc.

License holders with unrestricted access can use the table to work out what they should pay, given that they can ride any motorcycle they can expect to pay any of the previously mentioned prices.

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What do I need to tax my motorcycle?

Taxing a motorcycle has never been easier, all you’ll need to pay tax on your machine is the registration document aka the V5C, a green slip (V5C/2) if you are still waiting on the V5C or the logbook.

A valid MOT certificate for your motorcycle and motorcycle insurance.

Every year you will receive a notification that your tax is running out, if you normally pay by direct debit it will automatically renew and you do not need to do anything to update this.

How do I pay motorcycle tax?

There are a few ways in which you can pay tax on your motorcycle, often it isn’t too much hassle and can be done in a matter of minutes.


Paying motorcycle tax online is a very simple process, simply head on over to the Government website with the previously mentioned documents and fill out the details and information including the V5C numbers, your registration number and your address. This is a 24/7 process that can be done whenever is easiest for you.

You will be given the option to pay this in either one single payment, 12 monthly instalments or bi-annual payments every 6 months and can set up a direct debit to cover these.

Over the phone

There is the ability to pay for your road tax over the phone thanks to a 24-hour telephone service on the number 03001 234 321, the limitation to this service is that it only allows you to make a payment that covers either six or 12 months. If you want to pay monthly or set up a direct debit you must go online or via the Post Office.

Post Office

There are various post offices across the country that allow you to pay tax, you are able to pay in a multitude of methods including cash and have the ability to set up a direct debit to pay in monthly instalments. You will need to have the relevant information as previously listed.

Tax exemptions

There are some motorcycles and instances where you are exempt from paying road tax in the UK, they are as follows:

  • You ride an electric motorcycle
  • You are disabled

Not only that but motorcycles that were registered before 1st January 1979 do not require tax. Hopefully, this has answered your questions relating to taxing your motorcycle.

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