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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Vehicle tax discs abolished from October

Big changes to the way vehicles are taxed are in the offing.

Tax disc

From October 1 – after 93 years – the circular paper tax discs that sit on car windscreens will become a thing of the past.

Don’t get your hopes up, vehicle excise duty (the official name for car tax) isn’t being abolished, although you will have the option to pay by monthly instalments and direct debit.

Under the new system, police cameras will check a car’s number plate against to see if the vehicle is taxed. If it isn’t, the registered keeper can expect a fine in the post. So far so good.

However, HPI, the company that provides car history checks, is warning that motorists could easily fall foul of the new regime and end with a fine or penalty charges against a vehicle they no longer own.

The rules put the onus on used-car sellers to inform the Driving Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA) when they no longer have responsibility for a vehicle.

Shane Teskey, consumer services manager at HPI, says: “Used-car sellers are responsible for notifying the DVLA and then they will receive a refund for any months left on the vehicle tax.

“Sellers who fail to inform the DVLA could be fined and they will be liable for any speeding or parking fines and vehicle tax for a car they don’t even own any more.

“We remind sellers to always send the V5C to the DVLA, rather than relying on the buyer to do it. And if they scrap a vehicle, they should get a certificate of destruction (CoD) from an authorised treatment facility (ATF).”

On balance, however, he sees the changes as beneficial for motorists.

“The move away from paper tax discs will save money on postage and offers more flexible payment options, not to mention making it harder for tax dodgers to drive untaxed,” Mr Teskey adds.

“We’re hoping that the new DVLA initiatives will make it harder for dodgy drivers to head out on the road untaxed.”

A web-based poll conducted by the car supermarket Motorpoint found that 60.6 per cent of drivers back the abolition of the paper tax disc.

Motorpoint’s managing director, Mark Carpenter, says: “The tax disc is part of the fabric of motoring and I am sure it will take some getting used to not having it on show on our windscreens. However, with the widespread use of real-time online systems, the role of the tax disc has become largely symbolic and, based on the results of our poll, it doesn’t seem that too many drivers will be that sad to see it disappear.”

Motorists will no longer be required to display a paper tax disc on their vehicle windscreen.

The DVLA will send a reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire, as it does now.

You can apply to renew the tax online using the 16-digit reference number from the vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11) or the 11-digit reference number from the log book (V5C). Motorists without internet access will still be able to tax their cars by telephone or in person at a post office.

Have your say

Time it all went on fuel...... those who use roads most pay more
Seems fair to me.

Posted by dr.iver on 1 October 2014 at 13:17

Does the tax disc need to expire before it can be removed or can it be removed on 1st October regardless? I have a motorbike and would like to remove it immediately on the 1st.

Posted by Mark on 30 September 2014 at 14:57

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Marked differences in fuel prices across north and west Cumbria - does it matter?

It does matter. There's unfair advantage

For the sake of a penny or two per litre? No

Why worry. Up one week, down the next - all drivers are losers in the end

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