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Short term car insurance and road tax

Yes, short term car insurance can be used to get a tax disc but a one-day policy is highly unlikely to be enough and you would probably need to have a policy lasting for several days.

To qualify for a road fund licence a vehicle must be insured on the day that the taxed period is due to commence; in other words, if the tax expired on 31 December then it would be essential for the vehicle to be insured on 1 January for a tax disc to be issued.

The vehicle can be taxed either online, by telephone or in person at certain general post offices. The online and telephone methods are very similar; both are automated and the system scans a government database to ensure that there is a current MOT in place, and the Motor Insurers Database to make sure that the vehicle is insured. However, if an insurance policy has been taken out only recently this fact may not be reflected in this record, particularly if it was purchased in the evening or at a weekend. Although insurance companies and brokers usually submit details of new policies to this database by the close of business this may only happen during the working week, and it can still take a further day or two for the database to show these details. This means that you would often need to allow several days between insuring the vehicle and being able to tax it in this way.

Alternatively you could take the download insurance certificate to your local post office and they should accept these (DVLA guidelines state that downloaded documents are acceptable), although there is never any guarantee that individual post office workers will in fact do so. To make things a little more complex some insurance companies refuse to allow their certificates to be used for this purpose and they are endorsed accordingly. At the time of writing these companies include Provident and Aviva but DayInsure (who are actually underwritten by Aviva) are quite happy for this to happen and they will even provide a hologrammed cover note by post in exchange for a small fee.

So the answer is yes, you can tax a car using short term car insurance you need to buy the policy from the right company and you need to allow an insured period of several days.

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