George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that it is the end of the road for the tax disc on cars as we know it. After over 90 years, it is to be scrapped and replaced by an electronic system.
Car tax was introduced to this country in 1888, and car tax discs were introduced in 1921, to enable law officials to check that people were paying their vehicle tax duty. Many drivers have had to queue in Post Offices to renew their tax disc for many years, until the online system was introduced. This made it a lot easier for busy working drivers to renew their tax from home, or in the office, and to have the option of 6 months or 12 months tax.
When the electronic strip was added to the disc, it meant that law enforcement officers could know instantly by scanning the disc, if the tax had been paid, and that you have an up to date MOT, and car insurance. Tax discs are not issued if either is not in place, so it made the traffic cops jobs a lot easier to check on data bases when stopping cars for motor offences.
George Osborne has planned to bring in the new electronic system in October 2014, once legislation is passed as part of the Financial Bill next year. It will give drivers the opportunity to pay their Vehicle Excise Duty, (VED), for the first time, by monthly direct debit payments. A 5% charge will be added for the privilege, but it will ease the financial burden that car tax can put on drivers when paid in a large payment, six monthly or annually.
The extra charge of 10% that is added for paying you car tax six monthly, will also be cut to 5%, which will also help millions of drivers save money. If people do not have access to computers to use the online services, they will still be able to pay their car tax at the Post Office, or by telephone.
The money saved by the DVLA on paperwork etcetera, will be able to be redirected to better use within the Agency, so as well as drivers saving money, better services will be able to be created too! It will take some getting used to, not having the car tax disc on your windscreen, especially for older drivers, but in 10 years time, people will be saying, “What’s a Tax Disc!”