posted 2 years ago

UK Drivers Want Tax Disc Reinstated

Pros and cons of the new road tax rules, penalties of falling foul plus a free tool to keep you ahead of the game.

Pros and cons of abolishing tax disc

The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency abolished the tax disc in October 2014 but it should now be reinstated, claim the vast majority of motorists in the UK. A survey by uSwitch – a price comparison company – suggested that 74.6% of 6,018 respondents favour its return. 25.4%, in contrast, want to keep the status quo. 

Drivers face a win/lose situation following the abolition. On the plus side, the initiative eliminates certain hassles that burn time. There is no need to obtain a disc, tear it from the surrounding paperwork, purchase a windscreen mounted tax disc holder and ensure it can be seen clearly every moment of every day. 

There is a negative, however. Motorists that want to ensure their car is taxed – or confirm how long before tax expires - cannot simply peer through a windscreen for a date. The easiest means now is to check via the internet, but this process is more time consuming and requires access to a computer and technical know-how.

Direct Debit payments

Other rules came into force in October 2014. New Direct Debit payments now automate the process, spread the cost and eliminate the need to remember to pay. Money is taken annually, 6 monthly or monthly. The negative is that motorists might have to monitor their bank accounts carefully to ensure that enough funding is available.

Tax cancelled when vehicles sold

Prior to the new rules, cars could be sold with tax. Discs confirmed how many months remained so it was tricky – but not impossible - for sellers to lie. Now, however, sellers automatically receive a refund for any remaining months which totally eliminates ambiguity. Buyers and sellers know what is what.

This procedure can be somewhat inconvenient, however. Buyers must arrange tax before hitting the road which can be fiddly if setting-up a Direct Debit, for example. Furthermore, sellers can no longer entice buyers with phrases such as “vehicle has 9 months tax left”.

Penalties for driving without road tax

It seems some motorists struggle with the new rules which exposes them to penalties. Kasey Cassells, uSwitch Insurance Expert, argued: “Despite receiving reminders by post, motorists with the best intentions are getting caught out by forgetting their renewal date.” Potential penalties include a £1,000 fine, plus court costs. 

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