RAC Cars News


Half of UK Car Owners Unaware Of New Tax Disc Rules

By raccars Published

Image Source

A survey by a price comparison website has revealed that British car owners are yet to understand the upcoming changes to the UK's tax disc system, leaving them at risk of fines. After 93 in use, the familiar paper tax disc will no longer be seen in car windscreens from 1 October this year.

With just over a month to go until the new regulations take effect, 50% of car owners responding to the online poll admitted that while they are aware of changes to the system, they do not know the date from which they will apply. 6% of poll respondents believe the changes do not take place until next year and almost a third have decided not to bother to inform themselves of the content of the new regulations. Although the DVLA has not yet begun to include warnings in tax renewal reminders, nearly a third of car owners claim they are awaiting clarification from the agency to help them understand the new system.

However from 1 October, with tax discs disappearing, compliance will be verified by police cameras using number plate recognition technology. Drivers selling used cars will be obliged to send of notification of change of ownership paperwork to the DVLA immediately as otherwise they will be held responsible for any penalties accrued by the new owner, and remaining periods of tax will not be transferable as part of the sale of the car. The seller will be able to reclaim any unused tax from the DVLA while new owners will be obliged to tax the car from purchase. Car owners who do not comply risk a penalty fine of £1,000.

Car owners are able to pay for their road tax using direct debit, either annually or, at the cost of an extra 5%, on a monthly or biannual basis. This is a reduction from the existing 10% surcharge applied to those buying their tax discs every six months.

The abolition of paper discs in favour of a computerised system is designed not only to reduce costs for both the DVLA and motorists but also to give car owners more flexibility in how they pay and to make it easier to track down untaxed vehicles. It is estimated the system could save the DVLA about £10 million per year.

More than 1.7 billion paper tax discs have been produced since 1921 which, laid flat, could form a line long enough to reach three times around the world. The 42.2 million paper discs issued by the DVLA in 2013 alone weighed more than 72 tonnes.

New Road Tax Rules From October

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars