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After 83 years of existence, the tax disc as we know it will no longer exist in paper form from October 1st 2014. Under new rules announced in the Autumn Statement last year, motorists will now have to register their car online to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax).
The payment can be made via Direct Debit on the DVLA website, via the telephone or at a Post Office branch.
Those who fail to register for tax run the risk of being caught out by number plate recognition cameras which are being put in place to track each vehicle on the road.
The move has been put in place to streamline services and, it is claimed, save British businesses millions of pounds every year in administrative costs, but motorists are being warned to be aware of the new rules or face the possibility of hefty fines.
The change mostly affects those buying or selling a used car as it means that buyers will no longer benefit if there are any months left on the tax disc as vehicle tax will no longer be transferred with the car. This means that anyone buying a second-hand vehicle will need to renew their tax disc straight away, or risk being caught on the road with an untaxed car.
Furthermore, the seller of a used vehicle is responsible for informing the DVLA of a change of ownership, otherwise they could face a possible fine of £1,000. This can be done by filling out a VC5 form and sending it to the DVLA, whereby sellers will receive an automatic refund for any full calendar months left on the vehicle tax.
Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “This is a huge change and vehicle owners and drivers need to be aware of the rules. A driver, not registered owner, can be issued a non-endorsable fixed penalty for driving an untaxed car. An owner can be fined £80 for using an untaxed vehicle (one not registered off the road) and can be charged any back tax.”
Moving forward, Trusted Dealers urges all vehicle owners and motorists to do their utmost to establish whether their vehicle has been taxed or SORN’d (declared off the road) before driving the car. You can make this type of check by visiting www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla.