The significance of the pending abolition of paper tax discs from cars has been well documented in recent times. As such, that half of drivers are still unaware of what the new rules mean for them, and that the majority of those were totally oblivious to the change occurring at all, shows the need for further clarification.
Following a 93 year tenure, car tax discs will be done away with from October 1st, with tax payments being monitored by electronic means, and perpetrators being identified through the use of police cameras snapping number plates.
A recent survey revealed that 50% of all drivers have no idea when the changes are to be implemented, and 6% believe their enactment is set for next year. An estimated third of the sample tested said they would wait for direction from the DVLA, however that seems unlikely, given the DVLA have not clearly cautioned car owners in tax renewal warnings recently issued out.
How to pay your VED under the new regulations
Motorists will be obligated to pay off their Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) via direct debit, with an agreement being made between a driver and the DVLA as to the timing of payments.
Motorists can elect to pay their VED on a yearly basis, a half-yearly basis or by the month ñ however the latter two options will cost a driver an additional 5% outlay. Moreover, those paying via a credit card will be subjected to a £2.50 added cost.
Any car owner unsure as to their current tax status, ought to access the DVLAís website, type in their carís brand and registration plate in the relevant place and your status will be provided for you.
Selling vehicles and subsequent refunds
The DVLA has discontinued the transferral of vehicle tax, which means consumers will have to purchase new vehicle tax before driving their newly acquired vehicle. This change could hit those seeking to buy second hand cars hardest, with the new tax amounting to an average £175 a year.
It must be noted that anyone looking to sell their car must inform the DVLA immediately if they want to avoid a £1000 fine. Following completion of this, the seller will be refunded the exact amount for every full calendar month left on the VED.
Drivers will also be eligible for refunds if the vehicle is scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), exported or has been stopped being utilised and is no longer in motion. In the latterís case, the owner of the vehicle must make a ëStatutory Off-Road Notificationí, and await confirmation from the DVLA.
Eradicating the paper disc is a part of an effort to offer motorists a greater degree of flexibility in the manner in which they pay the tax, whilst also intensifying the scrutiny on would-be perpetrators who have enjoyed skirting around the system for too long. It is these drivers, choosing to default on their tax payments, who would be hunted down by automatic number plate recognition cameras.
Moreover, the flexibility with which drivers can pay their tax has increased significantly. Despite the added costs for credit card payments and certain payment schedules, the modernisation of the payment process was much needed with regard to VED. Amongst its numerous benefits, payment by direct debit will also save on postage prices and time delays, serving to reduce much of the red tape constricting VED payment.
How beneficial the new VED system is for drivers will be determined over the next year, but the price of not knowing what the new protocols mean for you, as a driver, is too high. Car owners ought to be vigilant so as not to be exposed to a heavy fine they had no idea could be levied on them.