From October 2014, the regulations around road tax will change, and the paper disc that has been a feature of cars windscreens for 94 years will no longer be used.
The DVLA, which oversees Vehicle Excise Duty (better known as road tax) is getting with the digital age and introducing an electronic system. However, it is concerned that not enough people know or understand the new car tax regulations. So to help Green Flag’s members and other drivers be clear, here’s everything you need to know about the new 2014 tax disc regulations.
Will I have to show a tax disc from October 1?
No. You can throw your tax disc away.
How will I renew my road tax from October 1?
You will be sent a reminder as before and you can renew your road tax over the internet by going to the DVLA website. If you don’t have internet access, you can still renew it by visiting a Post Office.
What if I don’t pay road tax?
Cars that were made before January 1 1974 and those with carbon dioxide emissions of less than 100g/km don’t have to pay any road tax. These are known as nil-rate vehicles and they include electric vehicles and those used by the disabled. But even if you don’t pay anything, you still have to notify the DVLA and the vehicle will still be ‘taxed’ just as before it would have displayed a tax disc.
What about declaring SORN?
The process is exactly as it is now. You declare your car under a SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notice), it doesn’t cost you anything, and you must not use it on the road.
Can I tax and drive immediately?
Yes. As soon as you’ve paid your money, your car is taxed in the eyes of the DVLA.
What happens when I buy a car?
The tax no longer belongs to the car, it belongs to the individual who owns the car. Therefore if the car is from a dealer, it is likely to be untaxed and it will be illegal for you to drive it without taxing it. As soon as you buy it, you must inform the DVLA and pay the road tax.
Will this do anything to cut down on cloned cars?
Cloning a car is when it’s stolen and given the identity of a legitimate car that’s the same make, model and usually age. The old tax regime made it tricky for any seller of a stolen and cloned car to tax it because of the required proof-of-ownership paperwork to obtain road tax and number plates. However, now road tax belongs to the owner rather than the vehicle, when you try to tax a cloned car, it will probably already show up as being taxed (because the legitimate car it was cloned from will be) which should ring alarm bells. Nonetheless, used car buyers must pay close attention to the car’s paperwork and making sure all Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plates tally with those on the registration document. The vehicle handbook will show you where the VIN plates are located.
What happens when I sell a car?
You need to inform the DVLA as soon as possible and you will get a refund of any whole months of tax that remain.
How will the DVLA ensure road tax is still enforced?
As every driver who buys road tax is now on a database, along with drivers who’ve bought insurance. The police will be able to check if vehicles are taxed through the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras fitted to their patrol cars. The DVLA will also be sending out clamping units to areas around the country where the database shows cars haven’t been taxed. These units will have the power to clamp, impound and ultimately dispose of untaxed cars.