Are you brave enough to tear up your tax disc?
Motorists divided on whether they know enough about road tax changes
Many British drivers say they are brave enough to tear up their tax disc – and are planning to do just that.
However, some say the Government should have done more to communicate Vehicle Excise Duty changes removing the legal requirement to display a tax disc from October 1, 2014.
We conducted video interviews with motorists and asked whether they were aware of the substantial changes to the tax disc system.
We also asked whether they thought more people would avoid paying car tax once there is nothing to alert passers-by and police officers.
Some of those interviewed felt it more likely that people would avoid paying their tax once there is no physical disc on the windscreen, while others said they thought that automatic number plate recognition equipment would make it easy for the authorities to trap non-payers.
However, there was scepticism about the additional cost of policing the digital system of ensuring that car tax is paid, and concern that computerisation of the system would not be as safe and accurate as a physical tax disc.
Keep hold of paper tax disc
Lavinia Leader, 37, a PA and VW Polo driver from Hulme, Manchester, said she wasn’t brave enough to tear up her tax disc and thinks more people will get away without paying.
George Berry, 57, a cab driver who lives near Bury, Greater Manchester, was happy he knew enough about the changes but said he would be keeping his tax disc on the windscreen until it expired.
John Webster, 49, a joiner and manager from Rotherham, who drives a Citroen C4 Picasso, said he is confident that new technology will catch drivers who do not tax their cars. However, he said that he does not trust electronic records and will be keeping hold of his paper tax disc.
Michelle Hazell, 39, a knitting pattern editor from Glossop, and Andy Castle, 62, an IT support worker from Lymm, Cheshire, said they were both brave enough to tear up their tax disc.
A DVLA spokesman said it was entirely up to motorists to decide what they do with their tax disc after October 1 – display it, keep it as a souvenir or tear it up.
The drivers interviewed for motoring.co.uk echoed national concerns.
The RAC believes tax evasion will cost up to £167m compared to £10m saved by scrapping paper tax discs.
An RAC survey of 2000 motorists found that:
- 36% were unaware of the scrapping of the paper disc
- 47% did not know when the change was due to take effect
- 63% feared there would be a rise in the number of untaxed cars on the roa
- 44% reckoned the change would actually encourage people to break the law
A survey for Money.co.uk found that 50% of drivers were ignorant about when the changes take effect.
- Nearly a third of them said they will not even try to find out what the new rules are
- Around 53% of drivers said they would use the new option of paying by direct debit, according to the survey.
A poll of 1,000 drivers by The Independent newspaper found that 40% were completely unaware of the impending changes.
Of those who were aware, half were unsure when they were coming in and many were not planning to find out more.
A survey for the AA found that 70% of drivers are worried that they may drive a friend’s, relative’s, rental, company or recently bought used car unaware that the vehicle is untaxed and therefore illegal to drive on the road.
- 46% of AA members are in favour of the change
- 55% of members in the AA-Populus poll think Direct Debit will make motoring budgeting much easier
- 47% of AA members think that not having a disc will make it more likely that they will forget to renew
Motoring.co.uk has produced helpful advice for anyone wondering what the changes to the tax disc system will mean to them.
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