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UK Road Tax Disc Scrapped: How to Renew Road Tax Disc Online - Advantages and Disadvantages

Updated on October 31, 2014

Death of The road Tax Disc

End of the Road Tax disc
End of the Road Tax disc

The End of Road Tax Discs?

George Osborne had announced in his Autumn 2013 statement that Road Tax Discs will be abolished and it will all go online.

The relevant authorities will know if you have or haven't got Road Tax by way of using a national database where all Road Tax information will be stored. The cameras on the roads will pick up if you are taxed or not. This sounds like a money saving exercise but also an easier system with less hassle for drivers in UK.

When did road tax discs become effective from? Road Tax Discs started being used in 1921 and has been a staple of British motoring heritage to date.

Instead of displaying the age old Road Tax disc on your windscreens, drivers will have to register their cars online. There are positives and negatives to the direction George Osborne wants to take it.

George Osborne: Road Tax Disc Online

George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer
George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer

Registering for Road Tax Online

It's a good thing that George Osborne has decided to get motorists to register for Road Tax online rather than have discs stuck to their windscreens. It's another thing whether this will work or not. We all know how reliable government databases/servers are with the publics information being leaked or left at random places by 'mistake'.

Will the system work? The government will make sure that it works as this is a step towards a modern taxing system devised by the Conservatives since coming into power in 2010. Before they take further steps into this new taxing system, the government needs to prioritise what they want to do first. Provide internet broadband to homes across the country, or tax everyone online? How can those people who haven't got a computer or internet in their homes register for Road Tax online?

Having internet available is one thing, but then the question is does everyone know how to use a computer? Some people don't know how to use the computer or do not have access to one, so what do they do? Go to the library with their personal information to be followed home and get their credit/debit card stolen? Think about the vulnerable people.

Then you have the computer system that the government is going to use. What if the system goes down? The police will have a heyday and fine everyone they find on the roads.

Online Tax Disc

When will the new tax disc changes become effective from?

This new system will be in place from the 1st of October 2014.

Any new cars bought before that date will have to be renewed with road tax from that date for 6 months or 12 months. You can pay using direct debit.

Regarding the new change in the road tax system, Tim Marriott, a spokesman for the Auto Trader website, said: “There has been a lack of guidance and advice.

“Anyone buying a new car will no longer be able to benefit if there are months left on a car’s tax disc as their tax will no longer be transferred with the car, so buyers will need to renew their disc straightaway or risk facing a fine.”

Car dealers have also been left in the 'dark' and they could be fined up to £1,000 if they make a mistake. This shows that there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation regarding the situation and this needs to be addressed by the government as soon as possible.

Where to Get More Information for New Road Tax Online Service

When the new system comes in for the new online Road Tax system where you will pay for it but you will not receive a tax disc, the only way to apply for one will be via the government online service through the link below.

They are working on a new Beta website but this will be up and running soon so you have to still buy your road tax disc online where you will get it by post or you can still go to your nearest port office and get one.

To use the online tax disc renewal service you will need your Road Tax Renewal notification which has your 16 digit road tax renewal reference number. You will also need your 11 digit V5C reference number too.

You can also apply by phone on this number: 0300 123 4321 or by Text phone: 0300 790 6201.

Most importantly, regarding renewing you road tax disc by phone, you have to pay for the call. The costs of the phone call are below.

Calls to 03 numbers cost approximately:

  • 2p to 10p from landlines
  • 10p to 40p from mobile phones

If you decide to go to the post office to renew your road tax then,

At the Post Office

Go to your local Post Office. You'll need to take:

  • completed V11 reminder (or your V5C)
  • MOT test certificate if required (must be valid when the tax disc starts)
  • the payment shown on the reminder

In Northern Ireland you'll also need an insurance certificate or cover note.

Funny Excuses for Not Taxing Buying a Tax Disc #1

Bit of Tax Disc Humour

Below are a couple of videos which shows people who have come up with silly excuses for not taxing their cars. Now with the new online road tax system, they will not have an excuse! Or can you come up with any?

I wonder why the DVLA wasted so much money on advertising the silliest excuses for not having road tax discs?

Funny Excuses for Not Buying a Tax Disc #2

New Road Tax Ahead

So from October 1st 2014 the new Road Tax system will come into effect where you pay for it online and do not receive a road tax disc.

The positive thing is that if you know you've paid for it then you can drive around with peace of mind, but if you borrow a friend's car and they haven't paid for it online or renewed the road tax disc online then you, the driver of the vehicle, may be fined by the police.

Be careful when driving as you need to be 100% sure that the vehicle you do drive is taxed properly or you could be fined up to £1,000.

New Road Tax Poll

Are you happy with the new system?

See results

Rare Road Tax Disc Collectors

You'll probably be surprised that there are people who collect road tax discs. There is one man who has every single one of them since the road tax discs came into effect from the year 1921!

From September 2014 the DVLA are printing road tax discs on non perforated paper because they have ran out of paper that they can perforate. Whoever has one of them then they surely will be worth a few hundred pounds to collectors of tax discs.

If you are lucky enough to get hold of the non perforated tax discs then keep hold of it and a few years down the line they'll be worth a lot more.


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