Tax discs will soon be disappearing from windscreens

Government changes to the way car tax will work come into effect on the 1st of October. The old style of paper tax disc will go out of use, replaced with an electronic system that tracks which cars have tax and which don’t. What does that mean for you?

The primary reason why the government have abolished the paper tax disc is to cut down on costs. The DVLA have already stopped printing new tax discs, with stocks of the special perforated paper now completely gone. The new electronic system does come with some benefits to the consumer. You no longer have to pay in 6 month or 12 month quantities. Instead you can pay by monthly direct debit, with a small additional cost of 5%. The paperless system is also set to save businesses up to £7 million per year in administration costs.

My car is taxed beyond October 2014. Do I need to do anything?

If your car is taxed beyond the October cut off, you do not need to change anything. Your tax disc will still be valid and your car will be taxed. The only difference is that it will no longer be a legal obligation to display the tax disc on your car windscreen. As long as your car is taxed, you will be fine.

Do I have to renew my car tax online?

You will be able to tax your car using the DVLA’s online system, or you can continue to tax your car at a post office. Like before, you will need a copy of your insurance and MOT to show when you renew your tax. If you are renewing online, you will need either the V5 number on the front of your registration document, or the reference number sent to you in the post by the DVLA.

I’m buying a new car, what will I need to do?

Under the new rules, it will be down to you to tax the car. If the car is being delivered to you, you have to be aware that your car won’t be taxed until you do it yourself. The dealer will no longer be able to do it for you.

I’m planning on buying a used car. What happens with the car tax?

When buying or selling a used car, the road tax will no longer be valid once the vehicle has changed owners. It is now much more important for whoever is selling the car to inform the DVLA that the car has changed hands. As a new buyer, you will need to tax the car yourself or face a £1,000 fine.

What if the car I’m buying has a tax disc?

Even with the paper tax disc, after the 1st of October deadline the tax will no longer be valid when the vehicle changes owners. No matter how long is left on the disc, you will need to tax the car yourself from the moment you have purchased the car.

What if I’m selling my car?

As soon as the deal is complete, you will have to contact the DVLA to inform them of the change. You can do this by completing the V5C form on your log book and posting it to the DVLA in Swansea. You can still get a refund for any full months of tax left on the vehicle, you just won’t be able to transfer the tax to the buyer.

How will the police check if a car is taxed or not?

The new electronic system will allow police cameras to automatically check if a car is taxed or not. All is needed is for the camera to be pointed at your number plate and your registration number will be checked against the DVLA’s system. It is unknown if the controversial parking camera cars used by councils will be modified to check for tax discs too. The easy option is to tax your car and avoid the £1,000 fine.

Will my old tax disc be worth anything as a collector’s item?

An article in the Telegraph asked the same question. A tax disc from 1921 sold at auction for £810.30. A tax disc in pristine condition from this time could be worth £1,000. The vast number of tax discs in circulation at the current time will mean that the value won’t be high just yet. If you keep it in pristine condition, there may be a market for it in the future, particularly if you receive one of the very last tax discs being printed on non-perforated paper.

If you have any questions about the new car tax system, you can visit the DVLA website.

More driving tips from Creditplus:

Five things you MUST do before a long car journey.

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10 ways you’re wasting fuel without even knowing it.

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