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Paper tax discs to be phased out

Published 05 December 2013

The government has announced that paper tax discs will no longer be needed from October 2014. Owners will no longer be required to display a paper tax disc in their windscreen and will instead tax cars online, with a car’s status as taxed, untaxed or SORN recorded in a database linked to the registration.

According to a BBC report ahead of the 2013 Autumn Statement, the changes will make it possible to pay for car tax by direct debit, making it more affordable for some car owners. Car owners will also still be able to pay for six or twelve months VED at a time.

Tax discs were first introduced in 1921 and it has been a requirement to display them ever since. This is despite recent advances in technology, which mean almost all information on a car is stored in a central database easily accessed by law enforcement. The database includes cars insurance status, whether it has a valid MoT and whether VED has been paid. 


Redneck    on 5 December 2013

Will this mean the refund process will become more efficient. Might be time to tax the classic for the month of use, or will the refund process be refined to days left, which with a bit of planning could mean only taxing for the weekend!!!

Essjay    on 5 December 2013

So, if I renew my car tax in March when it expires, is it a case that I can just remove it in October or will I be required to display it until it expires?

John Slavin    on 5 December 2013

Too soon to say yet, the full details will emerge soon enough though.

   on 9 December 2013

Every time I go to my local sub Post Office to tax my two classic MGs, the post-mistress checks her computer screen and tells me that the Goverment's computer system shows both vehicles as not having a current valid MOT. This has happened for the last several years. Each time, I show her my current valid MOT certificates and that solves the problem. I just wonder how problems like that will get resolved under this wonderful new online system. Sounds good in theory - but in practice ..........? Government departments are not well known for their prowess with IT, witness the recent NHS fiasco!

keithlewin    on 9 December 2013

How will people know if a car left by the road side for months is legal or dumped ?

Dadog    on 9 December 2013

Since there will now be nothing on the car to show whether it's taxed or not. more chancers will try to avoid paying. Only police cars with checking equipment will detect them.

ErictheHorse    on 9 December 2013

When the police first used number plate recognition equipment on the A19 near Middlesbrough there were so many vehicles being shown not to have insurance, tax, MOT or any combination of, that they had to turn it off, as they did not have the manpower to stop even half of the vehicles.

It is alway easy to spot the cloned or hooky car when traveling through the average speed limit areas on motorway, they are the ones traveling at a good 20 to 40 mph over the displayed speed limit.

walkerbrown    on 9 December 2013

Fraudsters paradise. The system would be entirely reliant on numberplates that can be bought off ebay with no security requirements for £12.50 a set. You could simply clone a vehicle that looked like yours, and police or trafffic wardens would have no idea if your numberplates were real or not (no ability for cross-checking the tax disc).
Who thinks up this tripe.

   on 9 December 2013

What about the little old lady that doesn't have a computer ?
Surely the government will have accommodate those who are not computer literate and drive.
I assume that the powers that be are so out of touch with the real world they must obviously think that everyone is on line.

jeeringtowser    on 9 December 2013

Why? Are you an ``Old Women`` without a computer?

majoreyeswater    on 9 December 2013

Typical Government Stupidity! They don't live in the real world, I know many drivers who don't own and have no intention of having a computer?.. Plus it means that there will be more Post Offices closed as there will be less for them to do?.. Will it mean that we get rid of some of the thousands of administrators who do all the work that our over paid Politicians are drawing ridiculous salaries, perks and expenses for?

Classical    on 9 December 2013

A fraudsters dream! The government might well save £7 million in admin costs but they'll probably lose that amount and more in lost road tax income! But then politicians don't live in the real world do they? Duh!

Alan333    on 11 December 2013

How do we the public know if its taxed, in my area I have always reported untaxed vehicles to the DVLA on the grounds that I have to pay so should they, found it generally took 2 -3 reports before action was taken. The police cannot be everywhere and you will always get the chancers who try to get away with no tax or anything else for that matter why should they be allowed to increase the cost of the law abiding of us. The use of trade plates and insurance is another area that needs a serious looking at.

the1beard    on 14 December 2013

Now simply buy two identical cars with the same number plates.
Clone heaven.
What nonsense.

C-Mouse    on 5 January 2014

I knew someone in the sixties who did this. All he had to do was swap the tax disc over when one of them needed fixing or servicing. He always MOT'd the best one...
Not a new problem

the1beard    on 5 January 2014

Yes totally.
Now no need to take the disc from one car to the other.
Just swap the number plates or get a copy set.
I expect we'll see a huge increase in number plate thefts too.

In France there is no VED or road tax it's all in the price of fuel that's a better option.

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