Car Tax Disc Axed after 93 years

UK Car Tax Disc Axed (image from Pete at Flickr)

After 93 years of appearing on our windscreens, the car tax disc is to be axed in favour of a more modern age electronic car tax register.

Originally launched in 1921, the car tax disc will be abolished and will no longer be required to be displayed on our vehicles’ windscreen from October 10 2014.

If your car tax still has months remaining after October 1 2014, you can keep the disc displaying until it expires or remove the car tax disc from the car, depending on which you prefer.

UK Car Tax Disc (image courtesy of Pete from Flickr)

From November 1 2014, you can also pay your car tax via Direct Debit every month, six months or annually. The Direct Debits will continue until you cancel the payments with your specific bank or tell the DVLA to stop. The changes to the car tax may result in a possible cut in the extra costs of a six month instalment of between five and 10 per cent.

If you have paid for annual or six months’ worth of car tax but no longer require it, you will be provided with a refund once you inform the DVLA. Also, if you have stated your car is off-road, the Direct Debit will automatically be stopped; however, the Direct Debit system is currently unavailable for first registration vehicles, fleet vehicles and HGVs.
People looking to renew their car tax can also renew via the phone as well as at the Post Office. You can check the tax status of your vehicle online using the DVLA’s vehicle service.

Stoneacre Motor Group’s Managing Director Shaun Foweather said: “Stoneacre Motor Group is looking forward to the more modern vehicle tax. These changes to car tax will make car handovers more streamlined, making it easier for dealerships to complete their business.”

The changes to the car tax will make it more convenient for people to pay online quickly and easily. It will also allow families that currently struggle to pay the car tax every six months or annually. Paying via Direct Debit can also ensure it is paid safely and securely, even if the customer forgets.

Unfortunately there has been speculation that the car tax changes could impact used car sales. When buying a new car privately, it seems as though the previous owner will need to reclaim the unused tax and the new owner will be responsible for the new car tax, as opposed to carrying it on.There have also been comments that some car drivers may drive an untaxed car without the car tax disc to remind them of when the vehicle tax is due. The fine for an untaxed vehicle is £80, with a rise to £1000 if the case goes to court.

Many people have suggested the only reason the DVLA has decided to make the change is to reduce their costs. It has also been recommended that the DVLA look at the refund arrangements as customers currently need full unexpired months for refunds.

Some older motorists have stated that they will miss the car tax disc after using the DVLA car tax disc system for so long. The car tax disc has become part of their British life, like red post boxes and driving on the left.