Tax disc scrapped
Claiming a missing road fund licence is ‘in the post officer’ will definitely be a thing of the past following an announcement made by Chancellor George Osbourne in his recent Autumn Statement that the familiar circle of perforated paper currently displayed on all motorised vehicles as a legal requirement is being replaced later next year by a fully electronically integrated system.
The paper disc to prove that the vehicle’s owner had paid the necessary excise duty (VED) was first introduced in 1921, but officials now claim that it’s no longer required, as the DVLA and police now rely on an electronic register to identify anyone trying to evade paying VED. Once the new system comes on stream, motorists will be able to pay VED by a monthly direct debit subject to a five per cent surcharge over the standard rate of duty applicable for the vehicle in question.
Motorists who don’t want to pay by direct debit will still be able to purchase a new road fund licence in either 12 or six-month instalments. At present, the latter option costs an extra 10 per cent per transaction but this amount is expected to be cut to just 5 per cent to bring it in line with the direct debit charge. The government expects the move to save motorists over £20 million a year and the end of issuing paper discs will save over £7million in administration costs, with changes due to take effect from October 1, 2014.
Although the government pledged it was going to phase out tax discs back in the 2012 budget, motoring organisations reacted to the chancellor’s recent announcement to the official end of the paper tax disc with caution, saying that enforcing the new digital system would entail the greater use of surveillance cameras as well as possibly making it difficult to identify when a vehicle had been intentionally abandoned on or close to a public highway.
However, the decision to stop issuing tax discs is fully supported by the police who have reported a 75 per cent fall in visual notifications for VED evasion since 2008 and believe that displaying a paper disc in the left-hand corner of the windscreen is longer required for enforcement purposes
(source: Classic Car Mart magazine, Dec.2013)
(Ed.:- maybe in time the disc becomes a 'collectors item' ?)