Vehicle tax changes: What you need to know
After 91 years of being an essential part of every car on the road, the tax disc will soon disappear for good.
That’s because new vehicle tax rules have now come into force that mean you no longer need to display a disc on your windscreen – but that’s not the only thing that’s changed.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new payment options and processes for taxing your vehicle.
Changes to how you pay
Whether you do it online, over the phone or at the Post Office, the new rules give you more choice about how you pay for your tax.
Unless you have a first registration vehicle, a fleet scheme or HGV, you now have the option of paying by direct debit. If you choose this method, your payments will continue automatically for as long as you hold a valid MOT, or until you cancel the direct debit or inform the DVLA that you no longer have the car.
You can also choose between paying monthly, six-monthly or annually. However, there is a 5% charge for paying monthly or six-monthly, so although these options are helpful for spreading the cost, they do mean you pay more overall.
Changes to the process
If you’re renewing your tax
The only change for straight-forward renewals, apart from the additional payment options outlined above, is that you will no longer receive a tax disc to display in your car.
Without the disc as a reminder, many people are concerned that they might forget to renew their tax, but the DVLA will still issue a reminder when your renewal is due.
If you’re selling a vehicle
When it comes to selling your car, you can no longer transfer the tax with your vehicle.
Instead your existing tax will be cancelled automatically when you tell the DVLA that you have sold the vehicle, and you will receive an automatic refund for any remaining months. It is then the new owner’s responsibility to arrange new tax.
However, keep in mind that refunds are only given for full calendar months remaining. So if you sell early on in the month you may lose out on some cash, and end up paying double if you have a new vehicle to tax as well.
The same process applies if you declare your vehicle off road or notify the DVLA that it has been exported.
If you’re buying a vehicle
If you’re buying a second-hand car, the previous owner can no longer transfer the tax to you. Instead you will have to purchase new tax for your vehicle before you take it on the road – you can do it online at any time with the New Keeper Supplement part of the vehicle registration certificate.
If you’re driving someone else’s vehicle
According to the AA, 70% of drivers are worried that without a visible tax disc, they could borrow or hire a vehicle without realising that it’s untaxed and therefore illegal to drive on the road. If you’re concerned, you can check the tax status of any vehicle online at www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax.
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