RiP the Tax Disc 1921-2014

October 1st 2014 brings a significant change to the way we pay for and display our vehicle Road Fund License!

So what are the changes and what do you need to know?

  • The paper tax disc is no more! From October the 1st, you will no longer be issued a license and you can remove yours from the windscreen forever - regardless of how many months are still left to run on it. Electronic automated numberplate recognition vehicles (ANPR) will instantly inform the Police whether your vehicle is compliant (expect to see more of these on the roads now too!)

  • You will buy your car tax online and can now pay by Direct Debit either annually, six monthly or on a monthly basis. Provided your payments are kept up to date, your vehicle will remain covered and compliant.

  • You can check the status of yours, or any vehicle, online immediately here.

  • When you sell a vehicle, you can no longer include the Road Fund License. Upon sale, you inform the DVLA of the change of ownership and they will automatically refund to you the value of any full months remaining.

  • When you purchase a vehicle from another person you will be responsible for immediately arranging Road Fund License cover. You can do this by using the New Keeper Supplement part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C), online , by calling 0300 123 4321, or visiting your nearest Post Office.

What does this all mean to me now?

So while the government are saving considerable costs in the production and logistics of paper tax discs, they will also be gaining from the obvious cross-over period when vehicles are sold.

To be more clear, a vehicle owner who sells on the 10th of a month will likely already have paid for the full month. Once sold, DVLA will only refund any FULL month or months remaining. The remaining weeks will be lost and cannot be carried over to a new vehicle. The new owner, in order to drive the vehicle on a public road will have to immediately pay for the license but this will start from the beginning of that month! In short, the month will be paid for twice. Multiply this by the number of vehicles sold daily and there's quite a revenue stream!

Given that the current methods used to inform DVLA of new ownership appears to remain via the traditional post, and that notification will need to be received by them before the start of a new month,  expect current owners to advertise vehicles for sale with a 'collect on the 23-25th of the month' proviso attached! Equally anticipate a degree of bartering from a potential purchaser about the amount of month remaining and how much this will cost him/her....

Numbers of previous owners

One other thing to consider when purchasing a vehicle will be the number of previous owners stated on the log book. This may not reflect accuracy into the future. A second hand car dealer may not have the use of 'trade' number plates and, in order to allow you to test drive a vehicle, will have to pay for Road Fund License. In order to do this, he/she will have to register as a new keeper......

The future

It is highly likely that the new system will need to be altered and adapted after a period of time. In the meantime, we think it's all a positive. Road Fund License is necessary to maintain and hopefully improve the condition of our aging and overworked road networks. Drivers who have historically avoided paying are causing good honest individuals more and more each year - while enjoying the benefits of the roads for nothing! The new system will provide and allocate further funding while improving on what should be a level playing field for all motorists!

Now let's talk about tyres.............

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