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Paying your car tax on an American Express card

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(EDIT, 2015 – following a rejig of the DVLA payment systems, you can no longer pay with Amex.)

Reader Dan dropped me a note to say that he had just renewed his car tax, and was pleasantly surprised to see that the DVLA website is now accepting American Express for payment. This is quite rare for a Government department.

I had a dig around, and it seems that this has been possible for at least six months.  However, as you only renew your tax once a year you might not have come across it yet.


There is a £2.50 fee for paying by Amex.  If you have a low-emission car then you might find that the £2.50 fee is not worth it, unless you have a spend target to meet on a new American Express card.  Once you get into the £200 range, though, it is tempting to pay the fee – especially with a BA Premium Plus Amex, at 1.5 Avios per £1.

You may also want to think about timing your next Amex card application to fit in with your next car tax payment.  After all, a £200 charge makes a big dint in the minimum spend required to hit a sign-up bonus.  As a reminder, the spend targets on the main Amex-issued cards are:

Amex Preferred Rewards Gold – £2,000 spend in 3 months, current bonus 20,000 Amex points (=20,000 Avios) – My Review

Amex Platinum – £2,000 spend in 3 months, current bonus 30,000 Amex points (=30,000 Avios) – My Review

BA Amex – £500 spend in 3 months, current bonus 3,000 Avios points – My Review

BA Premium Plus Amex – £3,000 spend in 3 months, current bonus 18,000 Avios points – My Review

Starwood Preferred Guest Amex – £1,000 spend in 3 months, current bonus 10,000 SPG points (=10,000 Avios) – My Review

Comments (33)

  • StephenF says:

    I am applying for 3 x parking permits from my local county council (residents permits). Nice surprise to see instructions on where to find the Amex security code (CVV) on the front of an image of a gold charge card.

    Looks like at least my local council is now finally accepting Amex. Will have a look regarding council tax and report back.