Our paper tax disc is very soon to be replaced by an electronic system. First introduced in 1921, the paper tax disc will cease to exist from October 1st this year as announced last Autumn.
Under the latest rules, drivers will now register their vehicles online to pay for their road tax and will be able to do so via Direct Debit on the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) website or in your local Post Office branch.
Not only to stay up to date with more modern technology, the change aims to make services more streamline and is set to save British businesses millions of pounds in administrative costs every year.
The new system will instead recognise those who have not registered via roadside cameras using number plate recognition and those caught out will face possible fines.
This will of course have the biggest effect when buying or selling a second-hand car.
In the past, when buying a used car, the new driver would benefit if there were months left on the current paper tax disc. From October, this will no longer be the case, as the new tax system will not allow the tax to be transferred with the car. So buyers: be warned! The new changes will mean that if you are buying a used car you are at risk of being caught in an untaxed car if you do not renew your tax disc straight away.
It is the seller of the car who will now benefit from any months remaining on the tax as they will receive an automatic refund for any full calendar months. However, if you are planning on selling a used car, then it is up to you to inform the DVLA that the car has changed hands. This can be done by filling out a V5C form; not doing so could mean you facing a thousand pound fine.
So whether you are planning on buying a used car or not, vehicle owners and drivers should be made aware of the changes as soon as possible:
“This is a huge change and vehicle owners and drivers need to be aware of the rules,” explains Paul Watters, head of roads policy at AA. “A driver, not registered owner, can be issued a non-endorsable fixed penalty for driving an untaxed car. An owner can be fined £80 for using an untaxed vehicle (one not registered off the road) and can be charged any back tax.”
Mr Watters also went on to emphasise the importance of motorists checking whether their vehicle was taxed or declared off the road (SORN) before driving.
Although the removal of the tax disc will bring in some new changes for drivers, the overall impact is set to put an end to tax dodgers on our roads. One which Julie Daniels, comparethemarket.com’s head of motors claims “should have a positive impact on premiums.”
So make sure you have the date in your diary motorists! And make sure you’re away of all the new rules and regulations before driving.