This year, the DVLA announced there was to be a big change in the way motorists taxed their vehicles. With this change now in place, let’s take a look at the finer details, so when the time comes to tax our cars again, we’ll know everything that’s involved.
From October 2014, your car will no longer require a physical tax disc to be stuck to the inside of your windscreen.
After 93 years of getting into the habit of taxing our cars and sticking the paper disc to the inside of our windscreens, it was announced earlier on this year that the whole process is to change.
Since 1st October the traditional, colour paper tax disc is discontinued and will now be tracked by the police using number plate recognition cameras, in order to verify who has paid their tax and who hasn’t. This new method is a far more efficient way of monitoring who hasn’t paid, as it doesn’t rely on a visual check by a person. Therefore, it is cheaper for the DVLA to run, and easier for the car owner to pay their tax.
Despite promises that the new system will be far more efficient, things didn’t get off to the best of starts. On 1st October, DVLA saw an influx in the amount of visitors to their site, all wanting to pay their car tax. Unprepared for this volume of traffic, the website crashed, leaving people not only unable to tax their cars, but dubious about the whole process. However, this has since been rectified and now provides a quick and easy way to pay your tax.
What if I don’t have access to the internet?
Don’t worry if it isn’t possible for you to pay online. You will still be able to buy your car tax by going to your local Post Office, and you will still receive your reminder as usual. However, if you are paying monthly via direct debit, you will not need a reminder, and if you sell your car, you simply inform them to stop the payments. If you have paid tax upfront and then sell your car, this will not be transferred to your new vehicle as in previous times, but the owner will instead receive a refund.
As of 1st November, there is now the option to pay your car tax monthly, via direct debit. However, you will be subject to a 5% sub-charge, though this is still less than the 10% charge if you pay for 6 months. The only way you can avoid the extra charge is by paying a one off annual payment, in full.
Old tax discs
Now the paper tax disc has been abolished, there are rumours that old tax discs will now actually be valuable, with this increasing over time as they gradually become rarer. Some car enthusiasts already buy old tax discs to add to their collection, so as long as you keep it in good condition, it might be worth holding on to!
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