Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Over 93 years the little paper roundel in the corner of our car windscreens has become an essential part of UK motoring life but now the tax disc is getting the chop.
On October 1st 2014, the traditional UK tax disc will be unceremoniously phased out as part of an overhaul of road tax arrangements that promises to make paying your car tax easier and the whole system cheaper to run.
The new road tax set-up should also make things tougher for those seeking to avoid paying road tax. Rather than the visual check that the tax disc made possible, the authorities will rely on numberplate recognition cameras to determine that a vehicle has been taxed.
The new car tax system isn’t being phased in gradually, from October 1st 2014 you’ll no longer need to display a road tax disc on your car windscreen.
Even if you have time left to run on your car tax, the little disc can be removed and binned, framed for posterity or disposed of in a burning longboat on the garden pond, whatever you feel is appropriate.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay car tax though. The DVLA will send you a reminder when your road tax is up for renewal in the time-honoured fashion, you can then pay your road tax online, over the phone or at the Post Office.
The road tax price band will remain the same, as will the existing options of paying for 12 or 6 months tax upfront but from November 1st there will be the option of paying your car tax monthly. This new monthly option arrives in tandem with the facility to pay your road tax by Direct Debit.
Drivers paying in monthly instalments from their bank accounts will be subject to a 5% surcharge on top of the road tax price itself. That’s less than the 10% that’s added when you pay for six months tax, an option currently used by 23% of motorists. Only the one-off annual payment comes with no extra charges.
The key advantage of paying your car tax by Direct Debit is that the DVLA will continue taking the payments until you tell them to stop. It means that you’ll no longer need to remember to renew your car tax, it'll just happen and you can get on with more exciting stuff - like remembering your MOT.