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Road tax changes: how the new system will work
2nd Sep 2014

The traditional paper tax disk is to disappear.

From October 1, an electronic road tax database keeping track of who have paid their road tax will consign the tried and tested perforated paper circle to the scrap heap.
How does the system work?

You will no longer receive a paper tax disc to fix to your windscreen. As a replacement you will need to pay your road tax online, via the DVLA website. Those who do not have internet access can pay at post offices.

Do I need to inform the DVLA if my road tax has not expired?

Don’t worry; you do not have to do anything. Your existing road tax is valid until its expiry date, at which point you can renew by means of using the new system.

How will the new road tax system be enforced?

This will be done via automatic number plate recognition cameras, which track all vehicles, and catch those who have not used the new system to renew. The police can look up registration numbers on the National Police Computer system. Offenders will face fines of up to £1,000.

Will this have a knock on effect when it comes to buying and selling used cars?

Yes, this is where the changes really come into effect. From October, vehicle tax will no longer be transferred with the vehicle. To the buyers detriment, they will not benefit if there are unused months left on the tax disc. They will have to renew the tax with immediate effect.

The seller however, can claim a refund from the DVLA for any full calendar months left on the vehicle\'s tax. However, responsibility for informing the DVLA of the change of ownership will be assigned to the seller with the possibility of a fine if they fail to do so.

How do I check if my vehicle is taxed correctly?

Drivers can view the tax status of any vehicle by using DVLA\'s vehicle enquiry system. However, you will still be sent a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire.
So why is the system changing?

The DVLA insists the reforms are in place to save British businesses millions of pounds a year in administrative bills.

Is there any benefit to the average motorist?

Insurance premiums may or may not fall. Several insurance companies insist the removal of the tax disc should result in the total eradication of tax dodgers and should have a positive impact on premiums. However, only time will tell to see if this comes to fruition.

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