Paying your car tax on an American Express card

(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

Avios Redemption University - Lesson 5 - The pros and cons of using household accounts
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  1. Out of interest where is the option? I just taxed our two cars, but it wasn’t offered on the screen, last week! Good spot though for the future….

  2. “I had a dig around, and it seems that this has been possible for at least six months.”

    Really? Never noticed when I paid the road tax bill in August, and I usually check all payment options pretty thoroughly.

    • I agree, not obvious at all, I always look for an amex payment option first off, that’s why I would be curious to see where it’s offered as an option. It did not show on the cards options. Where did you see it Raffles?

  3. Dominic says:

    On a related note – can one use 3v cards for Car Tax?

  4. How timely, I’m paying my car tax today and I’m looking to reach the £2000 spend on the Amex Gold over the next 2 months. Thanks!

  5. Dominic says:

    This is bizarre. I’ve just tried to tax my car, and there is no sign of Amex being accepted on the payment page – and when I tried to put in my Amex details, it didn’t take a four digit CVC code, and would not accept the payment….

  6. David Fegan says:

    I called the DVLA in June about this issue and they were surprised that their website sttetd that AMEX was a form of payment as it isn’t. At which point i put forward a suggestion that they update their website, seems to no avail.

    • It’s getting interesting now – see the first three comments. David, had you spotted the alleged payment option AMEX on the DVLA’s FAQ page?

  7. Let’s try to get some clarity into this.

    Here is a comment that a poster made on Head for Points back in MAY:

    “I just renewed my tax disc £225. I have always paid for it with a debit card. I did not know that DVLA took Amex. They charge a flat fee of £2.50 for all credit cards. So £2.50 bought me 455 Avios (Diamond Club Amex). 0.54p each.”

    So it clearly DOES work.

    Regarding 3V cards and DVLA, this was posted also back in May:

    “Another data point – 3V accepted without a problem by the DVLA for renewing a tax disc. Handy as they charge £2.50 for using a credit card!”

  8. Dominic says:

    But, sadly, I don’t think there is clarity in the reality, despite the posting above. I’ve just been on to the DVLA site again. a) there is no mention of Amex and it won’t take my Amex number, and b) I cannot see how to use 3v (which I tried), as it wants the whole sum paid at once.

    I am utterly mystified. I think some posters must be in a parallel universe….?!?!?

    • And this is what Dan wrote to me earlier this week:

      ‘Quick heads up now take amex for car tax. With a £2.50 admin charge. I’ve just taxed my other half’s car (at £200 road tax for the year.) ‘

      I’ve dropped him an email for clarity!

  9. Definitely states it accept s amex on the faq section…

  10. dannyrado says:

    Hi all, I am Dan, referred to above.

    I have taxed 3 cars in the past 5 weeks, the first two, I agree, had amex been visible as a form of payment I would have used it, however I don’t think it was so I used mastercard.

    Last week I came to tax another car, and when I got to the payment page there were a string of logos at the top of the page, mastercard, visa, and on the end amex. I used my amex to pay (I was able to enter 4 digits as a security code.)

    As an aside though I have not yet received the tax disc. I’m out on the road today so that’s no surprise. I will update when I’m home.

  11. Interestingly, my local post office now takes Amex as well (From last week), I suppose I could buy car tax in there now as well.

    • Interesting, don’t all Post Offices use the same payment system? So hopefully this will be rolled out everywhere.

  12. I’ve paid my tax, no Amex logo on the payment page and you’ll can enter one card only, so 3v is out of the question (unless your tax is less that £25, not sure if that’s possible).

  13. I messaged the Amex twitter and they said they are problems online at the moment and to call them if you want to pay by Amex.

  14. It was Alan who said he paid for his car tax with 3v, he had an Audi A3 1.6TDI and it was £20

    See this topic

    The first comment is from someone who also paid for their car tax with AMEX, the comment is dated May 27th

    I’ve no idea why comments about car tax were on a story about buying Avios!

    • Haha yes, the HFP discussions do go off at a tangent at times. Mind you who would have expected a post about mini cabbages with respect of Avios 😛

  15. I have just called DVLA (the non automated number 0300 7906802 and paid by AMEX. As the van is a ridiculous £220 at least we get a some benefit now.

    • This no doesn’t even have amex on its automated list! Definitely hot and miss….

      • I tried the automated one first, then tried calling to speak to a real person (option 3????) Who was able to take amex.

  16. I paid for the ar tax on two cars – one after the other. The fist one I paid with my BMI card as Amex wasn’t offered as an option. A few moments later – the second car – Amex was offered and used.

    Seems to be a lottery.

  17. 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.