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Disc-arded – The demise of the Car Tax Disc

Ashlee Robinson - DAS Law

  1. 04 September 2014
  2. Cars and Motoring
  3. 0 comments
Tax disc

It’s Over!

I can’t be the only one who’s had the annoyance of trying to get a vehicle tax disc to stay stuck to my windscreen. Thankfully this shouldn’t be a problem any longer! I’m sure many of you have seen the dramatic headlines – ‘Death of the car tax’, ‘Throw away your car tax’ – but not many of us know exactly what’s going on. Let me explain what will be introduced through the Finance Act 2014, as of the 1st of October.

There will no longer be a need to display your vehicle tax. If you have a tax disc with months remaining, this can be removed and destroyed. However, you will unfortunately still need to pay for vehicle tax – an electronic database will keep track of vehicle tax, and the DVLA will still send a reminder when it is due.

Anyone acquiring a vehicle will have to purchase a new vehicle tax, as it will no longer transfer. You can still tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement at a Post Office branch, online, or over the phone with the DVLA.

The good news for those selling a vehicle is that you no longer have to lose out to a buyer negotiating for the inclusion of the tax, as you automatically get a refund on any remaining full calendar months. This also applies if the vehicle is transferred, scrapped, exported, declared off the road or has become exempt from tax duties. Of course, in any of the above situations you still have to inform the DVLA that you are no longer the vehicle owner.

There is also the bonus of not having to pay a lump sum for tax every 6 or 12 months. Under these changes there is an option for most to pay car tax through direct debit. This is an option for those taxing a vehicle after the 1st November 2014. As long as the vehicle MOT is still valid, the DVLA will continue to take these payments until you tell them to stop or cancel the payment.

For our readers in Northern Ireland, as well as a valid MOT you will also need proof of valid insurance. Do note a lower 5% surcharge will be attached to the direct debit option, whereas currently paying bi-annually attracts a 10% surcharge.

There are some exceptions to the direct debit changes, meaning that the option is not available to those who are registering a vehicle for the first time, fleet schemes and HGVs that pay a Road User Levy.

Unfortunately, one thing that hasn’t changed is that we still have to pay for vehicle tax, and failure to do so could lead to a £1,000 fine or invalid insurance.

The DVLA are likening these changes to a break-up and have put together a video, ‘Goodbye to the tax disc’. I don’t think I’ll quite be reaching for the ice cream and a chick flick; in fact, I’m looking forward to that little perforated circle being out of my life!

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