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Farewell to the Tax Disc

Kwik Fit | Wednesday 1st October 2014 8:00am

car tax disc 2014

This week, the DVLA is introducing major changes to vehicle excise duty which will see the death of the tax disc.

Since 1921 it has been a legal requirement to display a tax disc on all mechanically propelled vehicles used on the road in Britain. Yet as of 1st October 2014, this 93 year-old law will come to an end as vehicle tax goes electronic. Just as MoT records are held on a database by the DVSA (formerly VOSA) which can be accessed to view a vehicle’s entire MoT test history, the DVLA holds vehicle taxation records on a database which instantly informs the authority and the Police if a vehicle has been taxed or not. The database itself and the way in which we apply for vehicle tax is by no means new but this will be the first time that drivers have not been required to also display a valid tax disc.

But there is growing concern that the vast majority of UK drivers are not aware of the implications that the changes to vehicle excise duty will have, especially when it comes to buying and selling a car. Long has it been a tradition to use the remaining tax as a sort of bargaining chip when it comes to selling a vehicle – throwing in a valid tax disc with several months remaining could help seal the deal and save the buyer several hundred pounds. But the new law states that neither private buyers nor dealers will be able sell a vehicle with existing road tax. The seller will receive a refund for the unexpired tax and the new buyer will be responsible for applying to have the vehicle newly taxed.

So watch out. If you are looking to buy a used car and the seller is throwing in a portion of unused tax, just remember that if you bought the car after 1st October this year, you won’t be able to use that tax and it’s your responsibility to re-tax the vehicle at the full rate in your own name.

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