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Goodbye to the Tax Disc

Goodbye to the Tax Disc

Things ain’t what they used to be. The old paper tax discs stuck to a car windscreen are on their way out. From October 1st, you’ll no longer need that little plastic holder and you’ll no longer be able to see the renewal date just by looking at the car.

All the information on car tax will be held on a database, and police will use number plate recognition technology to identity vehicles which are being driven without tax. You pay through direct debit or at the Post Office®, but you just don’t get a physical disc to display any more. From November 2014, to tax your vehicle you'll have the option to pay by direct debit in monthly, six-monthly or annual payments. If you're taxing an HGV, fleet vehicles or a first registration vehicle you won't have the direct debit option.

What the Tax Disc Changes Mean for Used Car Buyers

Tax has been a useful haggling tool for second hand car buyers for decades. Throwing in a few months of paid tax can really sweeten the deal. From 1st October, this will be a thing of the past, and people buying used cars will have to adapt to the changes in the car tax system. From October, when someone notifies the DVLA of a change of ownership, their car tax will be cancelled. They’ll be issued a refund for any months they’ve already paid, but the car will be untaxed. This means that when you buy a used car it’s up to you pay tax from day 1. You’ll need to register it under the new tax system online or at the Post Office®.

While this does create an extra job when you buy a car, and means you potentially lose out on some free months of car tax, it will also stop sellers lying about the tax remaining on a car. It just means that as the car owner you’re totally responsible for tax from the day you buy it.

Once you register your car and pay your tax, you’ll be reminded about renewal in the same way you are at the moment, so while you won’t have the physical reminder on your windscreen anymore you’ll still get notified that it’s due to expire soon. If you want to check a vehicle, you can. The database is open so you can look up the registration online and see if tax has been paid, but if you’re buying a car remember, it doesn’t matter as any tax will be cancelled when it’s sold to you.

What should you do with your old disc now though? Well, until it expires and you apply for renewal, just keep it on your car. When it's expired? Some people will probably just rip them up and throw them away, but that could be a mistake. Keen "velologists", or tax disc collectors, predict that discs could become more valuable on the collectors market. Keep them in good condition and you could be able to sell them further down the line and make a few easy pounds!

Here's one man saying goodbye to his beloved tax disc. Will you miss yours?