As of October 1st, the good old fashioned car tax disc – first introduced way back in 1921 – has been officially retired. It is no longer a legal requirement to have the disc displayed. Today, we’re going to go through the changes and take a look at the changes you'll need to make.
So, what’s happening to the disc?
Car tax discs are no longer to be issued, and it is no longer a legal obligation to display one in your front window. This will be the case with both vehicles that have been exempt from the charge and those that have not (previously, even cars exempt from the charges had to display the disc.
My tax disc still has six months remaining, do I have to display it until it runs out?
No; it is no longer legally required. Obviously you can leave it on there if you want, but there’s no reason to!
Why has the changed been introduced?
Simply due to cost-cutting. The DVLA has said that removing the print and postage costs for the old tax disc will save around £10 million each year.
Won’t this stop tax evaders being caught?
No. From now on the police, the DVLA and other enforcement agencies will use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. Combined with the electronic vehicle register this will mean the tax discs are no longer needed for physical checks.
Does this increase the risk of me driving an untaxed car?
Some motorists are concerned that without being able to check the tax disc, they could potentially end up driving an un-taxed vehicle through rental companies or a car pool. However, the car tax status of any vehicle can now be checked online using the make and registration details.
How will the payment system change?
Currently, motorists are required to pay their vehicle tax in advance, in an annual or six-monthly instalments. However, with the new regulations come the possibility of paying via direct debit for car tax in annual, biannual or monthly payments, with the latter two having a 5% surcharge.
Doesn’t this affect the used car market?
Yes. Previously, used cars would be sold with tax remaining. Under the new regulations, tax cannot be transferred. The buyer will be expected to tax the car immediately, with the seller instead receiving a refund for any full months remaining.
Won’t this slow down the sale?
According to the DVLA, no. It is now possible to tax the car using the ‘new keeper supplement’ of the V5C. This allows the tax payer to go onto the DVLA website (or use the 24 hour service) and tax the vehicle straight away. You’ll also still be able to buy car tax in a Post Office.