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New Road Tax Rules From October

By raccars Published

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British car owners are being urged to make sure they are aware of new road tax laws which take effect from October this year. One of the new rules prohibits sellers from passing on the outstanding period of road tax with the sale of a car.

The DVLA has been advising UK residents that paper tax discs, which have been in use since 1921, will become obsolete for the last couple of years, with their total removal to apply from 1 October 2014. From that date, drivers can choose to manage their road tax online, through the Post Office or with Direct Debit payments. Enforcement will be via DVLA and police cameras with number plate recognition technology, which can check automatically whether a vehicle is currently taxed or SORN, rather than checking that paper tax discs are affixed to windscreens.

The DVLA believes the new system will not only make it more difficult for drivers to get away with driving untaxed vehicles but also cut down on administration costs to an estimated £10 million annually. The DVLA produced 42.2 million paper tax discs, with a total weight over 72 tonnes - more than a Challenger 2 tank!

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Car owners must also be vigilant in ensuring that the DVLA is informed of any change of car ownerships, and any unused tax cannot be transferred with the vehicle. Drivers, instead, will need to claim a refund for the remaining taxation period. Sellers who fail to notify the DVLA that their vehicle has been sold risk a fine of £1,000, in addition to being on the end of any speeding or parking offences incurred by the new owner, resulting in further fines and possible licence penalty points.

The DVLA is reminding car owners that it is the seller's responsibility to return the V5C registration document complete with details of the sale, rather than relying on the new owner to do so, and owners who scrap their vehicles must be in receipt of a Certificate of Destruction, as given by an authorised facility. Until the documents are sent off, drivers are likely to be held liable for any transgressions committed by the car's new owner.

Motoring organisations, however, are concerned that drivers will unwittingly break the law if they do not know or understand the new rules.

The DVLA has produced a short film called 'Goodbye to the tax disc' to help car owners understand the new scheme.

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Does road-tax just seem all too confusing? Here's our guide to low-emission tax-free cars.

This isn't the first attempt of the DVLA going fully digital, last month we reported how the DVLA Database Could Bring Down Motor Insurance >Costs

A History Of The Tax Disc

As some have pointed out, "road tax" hasn't really existed since 1937 – and is more properly called "Vehicle Excise Duty". So here's a potted history of the tax disc:

1919-1920: the tax disc was born! It was created circular, it is said, so it could be affixed to the outside of the car in a weatherproof holder. This is likely so they could use common circular waterproof seals.

From 1921 up to 1922 the tax disc was a simple grey circular piece of paper with simple black ink instructions on the back. Occasionally advertisements on the back of tax discs as well.

Colour tax discs were first introduced in 1923. Variations of colour changes have took place every year up to 2014. This helps differentiate the different years for authorities checking everyone is up to date on their road tax.

1935 was a big year for the tax disc: the duty was reduced to fifteen shillings per horsepower, rather than a pound. "Road Tax" reduction is a rare occasion in this day and age let alone in 1935!

1938 introduced the perforated tax disc: nearly as you know it today. By this time the yearly coloured stripe had become diagonal opposed to vertical.

1948 introduced a flat rate of duty for all cars, at £10 per year. Goods vehicles and taxis remained on a more complicated system – remnants of which are still being used today!

1977 saw the introduction of the "digital" style of tax disc, showing the full expiry date, rather than just the month.

2003 saw the introduction of complex anti-fraud details such as star-shaped perforations, gold foils, and bar codes.

And on 1st of October 2014 the tax disc will be made obsolete.

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