Are you ready for the new tax disc laws?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Prepare to get sentimental, because from the 1st of October we’ll be waving goodbye to paper tax discs forever. And while George Osborne mentioned that he’d be ending the 93-year-old tradition in his budget last year, approximately 36% of British motorists are still unaware of the upcoming changes. If you fall into that category, here’s everything you need to know.

While there’s nothing to stop you displaying your tax disc from the start of October, it’ll be the last one you buy. The paper discs will stop being issued, although you’ll still have to pay your road tax (or vehicle excise duty, if we're being very picky). The DVLA and police will be able to monitor it in the same way as they do car insurance, through a central computer system.

You can still renew your tax online or at the Post Office, and a handy direct debit option will be introduced in November. This means you can pay tax on a monthly basis rather than in six or 12 month lump sums. If you’re taking your car off the road, you’ll still have to let the DVLA know with a SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification).

The rules around buying and selling vehicles are changing, too. From October 1st, the tax will be assigned to the owner rather than the car. This means you'll need to get in touch with the DVLA after you sell a vehicle, after which you’ll be given a refund for the outstanding months you’ve paid for. If you’re buying a vehicle, you’ll be responsible for getting the tax arrangements in place before driving off.

And don’t worry, you’ll still get a reminder before your tax is due, so you won’t have to keep checking online. Automatic number plate recognition cameras will be fitted to police cars to suss out drivers who haven’t paid, and those who fail to do so will be hit with an on-the-spot fine. Here at Swiftcover, we’re sad to see the end of such a long-running motoring institution, but any changes that cut down on hassle and save time get a thumbs up from us.


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