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The abolition of tax discs is due to take place at the end of September, but motoring experts have said this week that drivers have received insufficient warning and, as a consequence, thousands of people could be at risk of fines.
Paper discs on car windscreens are due to vanish from October 1st and will be replaced with electronic records that will use police camera to check number plates and catch owners who have not paid their car tax.
However, a survey by price comparison website, money.co.uk and published this week found that half of drivers weren’t aware of the changes which prevent the discs from being passed to new owners when cars are sold.
Nearly 3 million used cars are sold each year, but from October 1st, but a lack of guidance and advice has led to confusion among motorists and car dealers and could result in drivers inadvertently flouting the new rules and facing fines of up to £1,000.
From October 1st, anyone buying a car will no longer be able to benefit if there are months left on the car’s tax disc as the tax will no longer be transferrable with the car. This means buyers need to renew their disc straight away, before driving the car away.
Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “Vast numbers of people could be hit, as many car sales involve someone saying ‘I’ve put tax on the car for you’.
“That this will no longer be possible has not been well-communicated at all.”
Mr Watters went on the explain that under the new rules, sellers must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) immediately of the change of ownership, and the new owner must register to pay tax before driving the car away. Motorists who drive a car away with the intention of asking the DVLA to transfer a disc to their name will be breaking the law,
A spokesman for the DVLA said there was information online and “good coverage on social media”. “We’ve been working with stakeholders and commercial customers to make sure businesses and the public are aware of what the changes will mean for them,” the spokesman said.