UK Car Tax – Goodbye Paper Discs!

By Bob Atoo
September 2, 2014

car tax disc

Come the 1st October 2014, the paper tax discs that currently grace our windscreens will be no more. This doesn’t, however, mean that we no longer need to pay vehicle tax. With risks of fines as much as £1,000 and more than two thirds of us not knowing what these changes are, how can we prepare for the new change?

For more than 92 years the tax disc has been a requirement of using a vehicle on the public highways, but in todays modern world, the DVLA and police will now rely on an electronic register to keep track of the millions of vehicles on the UK’s roads. The number of visual checks carried out by police and the DVLA, since 2008, has dropped by 75%, statistically showing that the electronic register is more than capable of carrying out the checks. With more and more of us now taxing our vehicles online, the old system has appeared to become outdated and pretty much obsolete.

uk car tax disc

So, how will it work?

Well, in simple terms, you will still receive your renewal reminder (V11)  in the post from the DVLA when your vehicle tax is set to expire, giving you all of the usual options, for example: apply to tax your vehicle online or declare your vehicle as off the road – SORN. The usual payment options are still in place, choosing the 6 month period or the 12 month period, with a new option to pay by Direct Debit being introduced on the 1st October 2014 (with the exception of first registration vehicle, fleet schemes and HGVs.)

What about when I buy a new car?

From 1st October, when you buy a vehicle, the tax will no longer be transferrable. Before using the vehicle, you will need to get new vehicle tax by using the New Keeper Supplement part (V5C/2) of the vehicle registration form (V5C), You can do this online or by using an automated telephone service, available 24/7, as well as still visiting your local Post Office.

Selling your car?

After the 1st October, you will need to notify the DVLA. You will automatically get a refund for any full months you have left of that tax payment. It will be something not to forget when thinking about a budget if you look to change your car.

The new car tax system is not a gradual change. As of the 1st October 2014, you are no longer required to display your paper disc, even if you have time left on the disc. Meaning, if you want to keep it as a keepsake or throw it in the bin, you are free to do so!

From the first issued paper tax disc in 1921 up to 2013, there have been 1.7 billion of them issued with a total of 42.2 million being issued by the DVLA alone.

You can find out more information from the UK Governement website here: