End of the road for car tax discs from October, says DVLA
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have announced that drivers will no longer need to have a car tax discs on display, from October 1st 2014.
The DVLA identified that they will cease distributing the discs during the latter stages of September this year, after which time drivers will be free to remove the discs from their cars, as the DVLA will have completed the process of transferring all personal data onto their electronic digital system.
This includes any discs that are currently due to expire in 2015, as they will become entirely redundant after the 1st of October. The DVLA cited that the move was necessary as discs are no longer necessary for wardens and officers to use in order to acquire tax information on vehicle owners.
Instead, they argued, the entire process will be made a great deal easier and efficient through the new computer based electronic system that will hopefully cut administrative costs and lower the number of people who are intentionally avoiding paying their road tax.
All information on the driverís history will then be available on an electronic register, and traffic officers will be able to check whether they have paid their tax through this public online check feature from autumn this year.
Motorists will also be able to pay their road tax on a monthly, bi-annual or annual basis through a new direct debit system that is set for implementation at the start of November, though drivers on a fleet scheme will not qualify. The new system replaces the existing Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) payment procedure, which only enables drivers to pay their tax on a 6 monthly or annual basis.
Paying on a bi-annual basis will be 10% more expensive than if a motorist paid for 12 months of their road tax at a time, but the DVLA have identified that this will fall to 5% over the course of 2015. Paying on a monthly basis is also expected to be 5% more expensive than on an annual one, though drivers may be content with accepting this considering the added financial flexibility that comes along with it.
The government also disclosed that they would be utilising the proposals made to them during the review of their services, with measures including hastening the DVLAís transition into an online functioning service and lowering the overhead and administration costs the business has to pay.
Road minister Stephen Hammond identified that the changes were part of a broader government programme that will see them "providing simpler bulk transactions for key customers such as the motor trade, fleet operators and hire companies,"
Other changes announced were that drivers will no longer be able to pass on unexpired tax privileges to other motorists when selling cars, as the removal of discs mean that ascertaining the outstanding tax left on the vehicle will be impossible and will make it easier for sellers to deceive purchasers.
Sellers will have to go to the DVLA when they intend to put their car up on the market, and receive a financial payout for the tax remaining on their vehicle, and buyers will have to pay online in order to legitimately enter the onto the road with their new purchase.
Century run comes to an end
The DVLAís confirmation brings to an end an astonishing 93 year run for tax car discs in Britain, where they were first distributed back in 1921. Initially, they were simple paper circles that were grey and black, but progressed later on in the decade to have a vertical green band on it. They were also not perforated in their original carnation and drivers were forced to manually customise them in order to compensate for this.
Perforated discs were introduced in 1938, but then faded away until 1952 due to a lack of resources brought about by Britainís involvement in the Second World War. In 1961, drivers were finally given the flexibility of paying for 12 months worth of road tax at any point during the year, rather than having to all apply on the same data, which was severely difficult for the disc issuers to manage.