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UK Road Tax Changes

Today (October 1st 2014) marks the end for the need to display a road fund licence disc, commonly known as tax disc, in the UK. No more fiddling with tearing out that perforated circle of paper (the number of tax discs we've torn is countless!) and then wrestling with the holder, that sticks to your windscreen, and itself, like superglue.  But of course, your car still needs to be taxed. These road tax changes will have several implications:
  • You can still go to the post office and hand the cash over or pay online, like we've been able to do for ages now, you just won't get a disc in return.
  • You can still pay for either 6 or 12 months at a time.  However, you can now spread the cost by monthly direct debit (5% surcharge payable)
  • Don't think that now there's no disc you can get away with not paying.  Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are all over the UK.  In 2011, in response to a Freedom of information request, the Home Office confirmed there were 4,000 ANPR cameras.  That has estimated to have doubled.  If you're spotted without tax an automatic £80 penalty notice will be issued
  • When you sell a car now, you have to tell the DVLA you've sold it and they'll refund any months you've already paid for.  If you don't tell them, you could face a fine
  • When you buy a car now, it is your responsibility to tax it before you drive it.  The previous tax will not come with the car you just bought
  • Because there's no tax disc to look at, it's not so easy to keep track of when it expires.  You'll now have to go to the DVLA website to check
And finally, spare a thought for anyone who's business depends on the manufacture and sales of car tax disc holders.... New coasters anyone? Specialised Covers have long offered to add a 'Street Pack' option to our Tailored Outdoor Covers which can include number plate and tax disc windows so your friendly neighbourhood traffic warden can still see which car lies beneath.  There is still a legal requirement to display your registration plates if you park on the road and some residential areas require a parking permit, which is usually displayed in the same place as the tax disc (or where the tax disc USED to be) If this applies to you, don't forget to upgrade to the Street Pack when you order your cover.