Deciphering the DFP and road taxes in England
After in-processing and attending the driver’s course, you will receive a 3rd Air Force Driving/Fuel Permit (DFP), which is your gas card, vehicle registration and driver’s license. This entitles you to tax-free fuel in the U.K. with a registered vehicle. Valid vehicles are identified on the back of your DFP card.
When you fill up on base, show the card as verification of your entitlement. There are no monthly rations, but gas must be used within reason (per 3rd Air Force regulation). If you are filling a vehicle that is not on your DFP card, you must be
able to show one of the following: rental agreement, TDY orders or 941 customs import form.
DFP point system
When drivers commit moving (and some parking) violations and receive citations either on or off base, citation information is sent to U.S. Forces personnel, and points are assessed against your DFP based on citation severity. Drivers assessed with 12 points in a one-year period or 18 points in a two-year period will face the loss of driving privileges. For a table of specific offenses, corresponding assessed point values and lengths of suspension, refer to the current Mildenhall I31-218 found at e-publishing.af.mil.
To help ease traffic jams, drivers are required to pay a congestion charge before driving in the Central London Congestion Charging Zone during weekdays (except public holidays) between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Visit the official site for more information, zone locations or to pay online.
UK annual road tax
For your first registered vehicle, your first year is tax free. Afterward, payment of the road tax is an annual requirement in order to drive on British roads; it is similar to the annual requirement to register and obtain license plates for your car in the U.S.
Road tax costs approximately £150 annually and may vary depending on the car’s engine size. Keep in mind it’s illegal to drive a car in the U.K. unless it is insured and the road tax is paid. Payment can be mailed or paid online. You must register your vehicle within the same calendar month of arrival.
License plates issued to servicemembers are official British plates and are registered to the British authorities. However, if the police pull you over they know when they are dealing with a servicemember. You must register your vehicle within the same calendar month of arrival.