NOTE: This information is now outdated but has been retained here as a matter of record. 

Unlike cars, that are taxed according to their emissions, the duty paid for motorcycles is based on engine capacity CC.

Motorcycle tax calculator

Engine size 6 month cost 12 month cost
 150cc or less Not available £17
151-400cc Not available £37
 401-600cc £31.35 £57
Over 600cc £42.90 £78

Note: all figures correct as at April 2013

You can buy tax online

or over the counter at a post office. To purchase tax your motorcycle must be insured and have a valid MOT certificate. You also need the V5C registration certificate for the bike. Not all post offices offer this facility so do check what services your local branch offers before heading out.

New rules

From October 2014 new rules governing how vehicle tax is paid for will come into force. In his 2013 Autumn Statement George Osborne announced that the current system of a physical tax disc would be replaced with an electronic system. Just like insurance and MOTs vehicle tax information is already held electronically but when the new system comes into force later this year you will no longer need to physically display a tax disc on your motorcycle.

The new rules will mean vehical tax is not transferable between owners, so if buying a used motorcycle you’ll need to purchase tax for it at the same time. Likewise if you’re selling your motorcycle you’ll be able to cancel your tax. You’ll then be refunded by the DVLA for any complete unused months.