Bring back the tax disc!

We want it back in our windscreens! That seems to be the general consensus among motorists, despite the fact that the tax disc basically became obsolete following rule changes back in October 2014…

It’s true. Despite the hassle of having to gathering together a stack of paperwork, the Post Office queuing and the fact that they always seemed to drop off the screen, a whopping 81% of motorists polled in a recent survey by wanted to see the tax disc make a comeback. This equates to a massive 35 million people if these numbers run true across the rest of the 45 million eligible drivers on UK roads…

cufflinksIt seems motorists want to see the tax disc’s return because they are falling foul of the law by simply forgetting to tax their vehicles on time. The same survey found that a worrying 13.5 million motorists don’t know when their tax is due for renewal, while 1 million motorists are driving around without valid excise duty (VED) on their vehicle. To be fair, though, when a car’s VED is about to expire, the DVLA still send out a renewal reminder (V11) so we can only imagine such uncertainties are more likely to arise when there’s been a change of ownership or address.

The DVLA did away with the need to display the circular piece of documentation on 1 October 2014 in order to save £7 million a year in costs and administration. But evidence suggests it’s scored an own goal instead, with the above survey revealing that the Treasury could in fact be losing out on around £170 million of revenue annually.

tax disc main

VED no longer transfers with the vehicle when it changes hands. Instead, the new owner needs to tax the car online, over the phone or at a local Post Office quoting the document number on the green V5 slip as soon as they take possession. You’re allowed to keep your old disc in your screen for nostalgia, and indeed such is our undiminished love affair with the tax disc that you can even buy tax disc cufflinks if you look hard enough.

The DVLA did us old car enthusiasts a favour in 2015 by introducing a rolling VED exemption to vehicles constructed 40 or more years ago. There’s a few points to be aware of here though. Tax exemption is based on the car’s build date, not the date it was first registered, and you cannot apply for exemption until 1 April in the qualifying year. Therefore, a car must be a minimum of 40 years and three months old before you can apply for exemption. That means if your VW was built before 1 January 1976 this will be the first qualifying year and it will become VED exempt on 1 April 2016.

another tax disc image

Remember, too, even if you own an exempted car – you still need to apply for VED.


The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage

2 responses to: Bring back the tax disc!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *