RAC Cars News


Keeping Up With New Road Tax Regulations

By raccars Published

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This week Britain introduces a new system for VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) and car owners should make a point of learning how this affects them. The most noticeable change is the removal of the need to display a paper disc in your car windscreen, to prove you have paid your annual tax.

You can go about taxing your car in a similar way to before, by visiting the post office, calling 0300 123 4321 or going online to make a payment. However, you will no longer be given a paper tax disc in return. The option to pay for twelve or six months' tax will remain, but you can now choose to pay by monthly direct debit instead. This method incurs a 5% surcharge and runs until cancelled or the expiration of the MoT. Owners of new cars will not be able to use the direct debit option for the first year.

The paper tax disc currently sitting in your windscreen can now be disposed of as you wish. The same applies to residents of Northern Ireland, although they will still be obliged to display an MoT disc.

Critics of the scheme have suggested that the new system will encourage people to dodge paying tax, believing they will not be given away by the telltale coloured disc in the window, but police will be enforcing VED payments as strictly as ever. Officers have access to the DVLA database to check who has and who hasn't paid, while automatic number plate recognition cameras can perform the same function. More of these cameras are to be put into effect and the DVLA will perform random checks. If your car is not taxed or SORN, you will be subject to an £80 automatic penalty.

The other main change to bear in mind is that when you are selling your car, you can no longer transfer the remaining taxation period as part of the deal. The seller will have to notify the DVLA of the sale and receive a refund for any outstanding tax that has been paid, while the buyer must tax the car before they can legally use it on a public road. This can be done via the New Keeper Supplement or V5C/2 section of the car's V5 registration certificate, by going to the Post Office or the DVLA provides a 24 hour automated telephone service.

If you are unsure how much tax remains on your car, you can check by visiting the DVLA website. The DVLA will continue to send out reminders when your tax is due to expire.

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