Affairs

October 2014: forget car tax discs

Car windscreens have something similar and distinctive throughout England: the rounded car tax disc or commonly named road tax.

From October 2014 this little piece of paper won’t appear anymore in the corner of the front windshield of your vehicle.

It has been part of the British culture for a while and this is taken as a major change but this also means the disappearance of customized/personalized items such as the magnetax and other tax disc holders.

“…From October 1, paper tax discs on cars will become obsolete and will be replaced with an electronic register.

How should motorists pay their vehicle tax?

Motorists will be required to pay for their vehicle excise duty (VED) by direct debit.

Payments can be made monthly or six-monthly – both at an overall additional annual cost of 5% – or annually.

How do motorists check when they need to pay their vehicle tax?

The tax status of any vehicle can be found at the DVLA website by entering the car’s registration…” Source

It is all becoming paperless to save trees and reduce costs of printing. But what if all the technology goes down for an hour or a day? It will certainly be real mayhem. However, this is unlikely to happen and all data should be backed up regularly in order to keep everything safe.

A few years back Ulster Bank had a major IT system issue not allowing customers to deposit, withdraw or use they cards for payments. Real frustration especially when there was no real communication about what was going on or when the situation would be sorted.

As stated previously, individuals and our Society are all about digital devices, social network and touchscreen interactions. If you aren’t on-board with all these changes life could in fact be more difficult. Sometimes there is not second choice: moving forward is the unique option and accepting that everything in the 21st century is about obtaining e-document faster and with no delay.

It should all be straight forward giving drivers more payment options.

However, according to the site money.co.uk some  motorists appear unaware of the changes.

Would it be worth for the DVLA to actually contact by email or SMS each car owner in order to avoid a bad surprise when selling a car? Communication is important in such case to avoid misunderstanding and potential fine and arguments. But this option is probably not possible. Certainly up to drivers to know what is happening.

However, after having brought up this topic during a social gathering,  maybe only twenty percent of the people there heard about this major shake-up.

death of tax disc

death of tax disc

This could mean a kind of chaos in the near future especially when the car is sold. Everything should be easier and quicker as long as all is transparent and passed to the people concerned.

At the end of the day, the transition should happen smoothly with a learning curve for a few months and hopefully not too much stress and a bit of flexibility and understanding from the authorities.

End of tax discs October 2014 - infographic

End of tax discs October 2014 – infographic

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