By Lyndsey Hall
From October 2014, paper tax discs will begin to be phased out, becoming entirely obsolete a year later. After 93 years of carefully tearing the perforated edges and proudly displaying your new tax disc in your original dealership holder, or possibly even a swanky magnetic one you bought from Halfords, the humble paper tax disc will cease to exist.
Drivers who are due to renew their tax before next month, and anyone whose current disc is still valid, will still need to display their paper disc as usual until it expires. If your tax expires after October, you will still receive a reminder in the post when your tax is due to be renewed, but instead of paying and waiting for the letter to arrive in the post, you will simply register with the authorities online (or by phone, or at your local Post Office) and be added to the DVLA’s electronic system. Cameras will then capture your car registration number, run it through the system, and flag up to the police details of any cars which have not been taxed.
The new system is designed to modernise and streamline the current procedure; allegedly, saving millions of pounds in administrative costs. However, unfortunately, anyone buying a used car will lose out, as the tax will no longer be transferred with the car; you will need to buy tax before you can drive away. Sellers will still be eligible for a refund for the remaining months, however it will now be their responsibility to alert the DVLA that the car has a new owner, or risk getting a £1,000 fine.
Between now and October, any tax discs issued will not have the usual perforated edges; lucky recipients will need to cut them out yourselves, putting paid to the annual game of ‘Can you tear the perforations without ripping the disc?’ (If you’re anything like me, the answer is usually no. And it’s a biannual game.) Apparently, this is a result of low stocks of tax disc paper as we approach the deadline of October.
So, all that’s left to do now is decide what you’re going to do with the remaining paper tax disc when it expires. You could turn it into a commemorative piece of art, maybe frame it with a photo of the car: especially memorable if it is your first car and tax disc. Or, for the more entrepreneurial amongst you, you could even keep hold of it and eventually auction it off, as ‘velologists’, or vehicle tax disc enthusiasts (yes, that’s a real thing) predict that these last paper tax discs will become quite valuable as they will be very rare, especially the ‘emergency discs’ that are not perforated. The rarest discs have been known to sell for hundreds of pounds, so you never know, one day your tax disc might just pay for itself.
What do you think about the new car tax system? Will you be keeping hold of your old tax discs in the hopes they’ll be worth a few bob one day? Let us know in the Comments.
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