In the following video Ross Noble tells an interviewer that you can drive a tank on UK roads and also that it is congestion fee exempt. If we ignore for a moment the practical issue of driving a tank through London is this actually true, is it really exempt?

  • 10
    What London cop would have the guts to collect if you didn't pay? ;)
    – jwenting
    Sep 27, 2016 at 13:38
  • 1
    If your tank has nine or more seats then you get a 100% discount (perhaps more of an armoured personnel carrier)
    – Henry
    Jun 12, 2017 at 21:31

2 Answers 2


It depends on the size and age of the tank.

If the tank is over 25 years old, it won’t need an MOT. Road tax is a contentious issue: some claim that tanks are road tax exempt, but the DVLA claims that it depends on the size, weight and intended usage of the vehicle. To drive a tank on the road without a learner plate, you’ll need to pass the category ‘H’ license examination. To register the tank, go to your local DVLA office. You’ll need a V55/4 form if the tank is new, and a V455/5 if it is second hand. source

More info about using a tank on road: https://www.intotheblue.co.uk/blog/2015/04/17/the-essential-guide-to-where-to-drive-a-tank-and-who-can-drive-one/

Edit: The main text says about congestion fee, but don't inform the sources.

Checking regulations I found no information about this clain:

You don't have to pay the Congestion Charge or register with us if the vehicle is recorded at the DVLA or DVANI in one of these categories:

  • Two-wheeled motorbikes (and sidecars) and mopeds Emergency service vehicles, such as ambulances and fire engines, which have a taxation class of 'ambulance' or 'fire engine' on the date of travel
  • NHS vehicles that are exempt from vehicle tax
  • Vehicles used by disabled people that are exempt from vehicle tax and have a 'disabled'taxation class
  • Vehicles for more than one disabled person (for example Dial-a-Ride) that are exempt from vehicle tax and have a 'disabled' taxation class

Taxi and private hire vehicles (PHVs)

Taxis and PHVs are exempt from paying the Congestion Charge when actively licensed with London Taxi and Private Hire (TPH). The exemption for PHVs only applies to private hire bookings

Other exemptions

Certain vehicles, including buses, registered in European Economic Area member states, must also be registered with us to qualify for an exemption

  • HM Coastguard and Port Authorities
  • Certain operational vehicles used by the London boroughs
  • The armed forces
  • Royal Parks Agency
  • Breakdown organisations source
  • 3
    The question asks only about the congestion fee, which you have not addressed at all.
    – 410 gone
    Sep 27, 2016 at 19:36
  • @EnergyNumbers you are right o made a mistake between 'Road tax' and 'congestion fee' Sep 27, 2016 at 20:22
  • 1
    Seems your list of CG excemptions is exclusively for disabled persons' vehicles. Are there other categories? Wonder whether the Royal Army has to pay CG when transporting troops to Buckingham Palace, lol.
    – jwenting
    Sep 28, 2016 at 6:42

Yes, tanks are exempt from the London congestion charge. As are armed forces vehicles generally. As long as they're actually being used by the armed forces.

Other categories of exemption include: ... The armed forces

Tanks are generally only driven through London by the armed forces, so it's a reasonable claim.

  • 8
    The OP says if "you can drive a tank on UK roads". I would assume the you, is calling out at a general member of the populous -- not specifically a member of the armed forces. (and also not me personally) Sep 28, 2016 at 6:28
  • 1
    @Oxinabox I'm pretty sure that a general member of the populous only has access to a tank, and is only going to get away with driving it in London, if they're a member of the armed forces.
    – 410 gone
    Sep 28, 2016 at 7:23
  • 2
    Yes, my point was that the question is asking about the "general populous of people who could drive tanks", but you have only given an answer suitable for a (nonstrict) subset of those people "the armed forces". To be a complete answer to the question, you need to establish that the subset, is infact the whole set. Otherwise your first sentence is wrong. (vs if you had your 3rd sentence as a conditional clause of your first -- a "Yes, if". which would just be a partial answer, "Yes, but only If" which would cover everything) Sep 28, 2016 at 7:59
  • 6
    @EnergyNumbers no, a Civil can buy a old tank. One of the requirements is disable the guns. intotheblue.co.uk/blog/2015/04/17/… Sep 28, 2016 at 11:48
  • 3
    In the UK, civilians can own and run tanks on public roads. (examples: google.nl/search?tbs=li:1&q=UK+tank+road) You can hire them as novelty limos, too (tanks-alot.co.uk/tank_limo_hire.htm)
    – Hobbes
    Sep 30, 2016 at 15:41

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