Vehicle Tax 2014 – What’s Changed?
Despite efforts from the DVLA, many motorists remained unaware of alterations to the vehicle tax system that came into effect this year. As of October 1st, 2014, the organisation got rid of the legal obligation to display the paper tax discs that sit on the windscreens of cars, vans and commercial vehicles up and down the UK.
While changes to car tax itself (known officially as ‘vehicle excise duty’) are minimal, it’s still important that vehicle owners are made aware of their current responsibilities.
So what has changed?
Abolition of Tax Disc
The most obvious alteration to the vehicle tax system has been the eradication of the physical, paper tax discs that were previously required to be displayed on the windscreen by law. Even if you taxed your vehicle before the 1st October cutoff point, you no longer need to display a tax disc.
Don’t get excited though: you will unfortunately still have to tax your vehicle for use on the roads! The process has simply been streamlined, meaning that all payments will now be made online, by phone or at a Post Office branch and be submitted to a central database which will track your tax details.
The tax disc has been the primary method of proving valid vehicle tax since as far back as 1920, and their abolition is being explained by the DVLA as a money saving exercise – the argument is that the reduction in printing and posting costs could save the organisation around £10 million per year.
Tax evaders will now be identified through automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). This means that law enforcement organisations can check the details of your vehicle against the central register for valid tax information without having to check the physical disc on your windscreen.
Another major change instigated by the new vehicle tax laws comes with the buying and selling of used cars. Previously, with tax being assigned to the vehicle and running out whenever indicated on the tax disc, those getting rid of a car could use the length of the taxed period remaining as a selling point.
As of 1st October however, this changed, as car tax can no longer be transferred with a sale. The previous owner is entitled to an automatic refund for any full months worth of tax remaining on the vehicle, while the new owner must arrange their own tax before the car is road legal.
If you are driving a hire car or other shared vehicle and wish to find out whether it is legitimately taxed, the DVLA have set up a convenient checking system on their website.
Written by Keelers Service Centre, the leading providers of car repairs, servicing and MOTs across Wembley and the wider London area. Make sure your car stays safe this winter by booking in a full service today at an unbeatable price, keeping your brakes, battery, clutch, exhaust and more in optimal working condition over the colder months.
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