posted 4 years ago

Advice once your tax disc is torn up

What you can legally do with the empty space on your windscreen

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From the October 1, drivers will no longer be required to display a tax disc on the windscreen. It has been a feature on vehicles since 1921, so it will no doubt take a while to get used to the change.

The windscreen will seem very empty once all the tax discs have been removed, so what can be put in the space?

According to advice from the Department for Transport, the specific act of placing stickers in car windows is not in itself illegal.

However, it is an offence, under regulation 30 of The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986 No. 1078), to drive a vehicle in which the glass is maintained in such a condition that the vision of the driver is impaired.

It is also a requirement of the MOT Test that any windscreen that is damaged or obscured to the extent where the vision of the driver is impaired may fail the test.

In practice, the annual test will check that items placed in, or stuck to, the windscreen, or surface damage, cracks or discolouration in the windscreen do not seriously obscure the vision of the driver.

In order to better define what may be permissible, the law divides the windscreen into zones:

Zone A is a vertical area 290mm wide, centred on the steering wheel and contained within the swept area of the windscreen (this area is 350mm wide on vehicles over 3.5 tonnes); and Zone B is the remainder of the swept area of the windscreen.

For simplicity, surface damage, cracks or discolouration, are simply referred to as damage.

In Zone A, a single damaged area shall be contained within a 10mm diameter circle.

A combination of minor damage areas shall not seriously restrict the driver’s view.

Windscreen stickers, or other obstructions, shall not encroach more than 10mm. In Zone B, a single damaged area shall be contained within a 40mm diameter circle.

Windscreen stickers, or other obstructions, shall not encroach more than 40mm.

That doesn’t leave much room for “personalisation” but we’ve got some ideas about what you could put on your windscreen once the tax disc is gone.


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Why not put a picture of your family or beloved pet in the space? That way they will always be with you, especially on long journeys. It will also make car parks a bit more interesting, as you’ll be able to see the different pictures people have.

Football crests

Football logo

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Many people already have things in their car showing which football team they support. This is an opportunity to build on that tradition.

A hand made tax disc

tax disc

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Why not get creative and create your very own tax disc with the online receipt. It also means you get to embrace your creative side.


Baby on board

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Little signs in the back window of cars seem to be as popular as ever, so why not put one in your front window? It might fun seeing signs like ‘Look, I’m not a tax disc’.



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Why not just embrace the change and get used to driving with the extra bit of windscreen that previously was covered by the disc. It might unveil something which you hadn’t seen before; although more than likely it will just let you see more potholes.