End of the road for the Tax Disc

2014 will see the end of the road fund tax disc on windscreens. From October motorists will no longer have to display their road tax disc in the windscreen of their vehicles. But you will still be paying Vehicle Excise Duty.

The treasury claims that there will be savings of £20 million. The number of windscreens checked for tax discs by officials has dropped 75 per cent in the last five years, thanks to the electronic vehicle register that is used by both traffic police and the DVLA. The tax disc is no longer needed for enforcement purposes, the police use number plate recognition equipment.

If they pull you over they can immediately tap into this database and see whether the vehicle is taxed and insured and what the driver ought to look like. Road tax is calculated based on the carbon emissions of the vehicle, there are thirteen different bands with annual duties ranging from £0 to £490 and as we know only too well even up to £1,065 for gas guzzlers in their first year on the road. One thing which will most definitely be a plus for motorists will be the choice of paying the vehicle excise duty by monthly direct debit.

It is always a bill that has had to be paid in full and on time so this will be a welcome addition. It will also be cheaper to pay for a six month period due to a 10 percent surcharge it can currently cost £55 for a half-year disc or £100 for a year. Under the reforms, the charge will be reduced from 10 to 5 percent, reducing an identical six-month period to £52.50. Paying monthly will also attract a 5 percent rather than a 10 percent charge. Vehicle tax was introduced in the 1888 budget and the current system of excise duty applying specifically to motor vehicles was introduced in 1920.

The tax disc was introduced in 1921, with a plain design of black ink on grey paper which drivers had to cut out themselves. Colour was introduced in 1923.

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