From the 1st October 2014, vehicles will no longer have to display paper tax discs to show that vehicle excise duty has been paid.
With a history dating back to 1921, the paper tax disc is the latest victim of the digital age. While some traditionalists will mourn the death of the tax disc as the end of an era, it is estimated that the move could save government administration costs of up to £7 million. It is further projected that the taxpayer will save up to £10 million a year, as it will be harder for those dodging the tax to drive without it.
Road Tax Digitalisation
It is predicted that the digitalisation will tighten up enforcement. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) estimated that in 2012, it received 160,000 reports from members of the public of potentially untaxed vehicles. However, from October, it will no longer be necessary for the disc to be displayed in vehicles as proof of payment. With the records digitalized, police will now be able to access the DVLA’s electronic vehicle register. Police ANPR cameras will also be able to use vehicle registration plates to detect payment.
Applications to tax or SORN vehicles will still be made online and in the Post Office, using the 16 digit reference number from the V11 form, or the 11 digit reference from your V5C logbook. The DVLA will continue to send a reminder for renewal in the post, although it is likely that in the future, reminders will be sent by email or text. The date of tax expiry can also be accessed online.
Direct debit will be introduced as a way to pay for vehicle tax, although such an option will not be available to HGVs paying the Road User Levy.
Person, rather than vehicle taxed
Along with the removal of the need to display the paper disc, from October 2014 road tax will no longer pass with a vehicle when it is sold. A buyer of a vehicle will need to tax the vehicle before using it.
It is also important for sellers of vehicles to ensure that they notify the DVLA that they no longer need to tax the vehicle, as it has been sold or its ownership transferred, and not rely on the buyer to do so. A seller who fails to notify the DVLA could be fined up to £1000 and they may remain liable for any speeding or parking fines. A seller notifying the DVLA of a sale will be issued an automatic refund for any full calendar months left on the vehicle tax.