Can you tax a car using short term car insurance? Yes, you can. Whether or not you should do this depends on why you want to do it.

Once you have insured a car using a short term car insurance policy the insurer is obliged to enter the details on the MID (Motor Insurance Database) within seven days, although to be fair most of them do it within a lot shorter period than this. Once your details are on the MID, and assuming that the car has a valid MOT certificate, you could tax it online, although the drawback to this is that the tax disc is then sent through the post, and until it arrives you shouldn't really use the car on the road, because it is an offence to do so unless a valid tax disc is displayed.

On the other hand, once you have paid for your insurance you should be able to download the necessary documents right away. Strictly speaking, these should be acceptable to post office staff, so if you go to one which is authorised to issue tax discs you should be able to get one from there right away.

If you want to insure a car and tax it so that you can legally drive it for a short while, then shot term car insurance can be a very useful option. Once the insurance has expired you can get a refund for the tax disc, but bear in mind that the refund will only be from the beginning of the month following the month of application; in other words, if you applied for a refund on 1st of June the refunded period would begin on 1st of July; if you apply for a refund on 30th of June it would still be begin on 1st of July. Always make sure that when you pay for the tax you do so for a full 12 months; if you pay for six months then you will be charged an extra 10%, but when you get a refund the refund will be based on the twelve-month price; in other words you will not get back the extra that you have paid.

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There are a few naughty people about who, in the past, have bought short term car insurance, used it to tax their cars and then once it has expired they have continued to drive whilst uninsured. This has always been a very risky practice, not only for other road users but for themselves as well, because the risk of being caught is extremely high, and the penalties Draconian. Every car insurance policy is registered on the MID and there are road cameras all over Britain whose sole purpose is to read the numberplates of passing cars, compare them with the MID details and if the car turns out to be uninsured either it is stopped by a patrol vehicle waiting further along the road, or a police officer is knocking at the owner's door within days. The screws have now been tightened even further; it is now not only illegal to drive a car without insurance on a public highway, but also to even own without making a SORN (Statutory off Road Notification) declaration. The police make checks on the MID thousands of times a day to check on whether or not vehicles are insured, and where there has been no SORN a visit and a £100 fine are the likely results.

When police officers suspect that a car is being driven by someone who is not insured to do so they have the right to seize it, and it is then taken to a pound. To get it back, the owner has to produce a full insurance certificate (a temporary certificate will not suffice), and pay not only a stiff seizure fee but also a daily charge as well. Cars that are not recovered can be crushed. It is therefore more important than ever to ensure that anyone who drives a car is fully covered by insurance, and short term car insurance can have an important part to play in this.

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