On 1st October, after 93 years on our windscreens, road tax discs will be abolished. Tax discs will no longer be issued and motorists will not receive a paper tax disc to fix to their windscreen. They will still need, however, to pay road tax to drive or keep a vehicle on the road. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to police non-compliance.
What happens if your road tax doesn't expire for several months?
You don't have to do anything, although you can take your paper tax disc off your car windscreen if you want to. Your existing road tax will remain valid until its expiry date, at which point you can renew it using the new system.
Car owners will be allowed to pay for the road tax annually at no extra cost. By contrast, those choosing to spread the cost by Direct Debit paying twice a year or monthly will incur a 5% additional charge. This is half of the 10% surcharge that is currently applied to 6 month tax discs. Those opting to pay by direct debit can forget about the road tax as this will be renewed automatically, so long as your insurance and M.O.T (if required) are up to date.
What happens when you buy or sell a vehicle?
The new rules mean that when you sell your car the road tax is not transferred with the vehicle. The purchaser will have to renew the tax straight away and will no longer benefit if there are any unused months left on the tax.
The seller can claim a refund from DVLA for any full calendar months left on the vehicle’s road tax. They are also responsible for informing the DVLA of the change of ownership. If they fail to do so they will face a fine of up to £1000 and could still be liable for any speeding or parking fines and road tax associated with the vehicle.
Finally, did you know……
Since 1921, over 1.7billion tax discs have been issued. If they were put in a line, they would go around the world three times.
In 2013, the DVLA issued 42.2 million tax discs weighing over 72 tonnes – that’s heavier than a Challenger 2 tank!
Jim Keenan, LCGI, MITAI, Forensic Collision Investigator