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Drivers warned to brush up on new road tax rules or face £1,000 fine as the disc disappears from win

11 August 2014

The tax disc with months left to run has long been a handy money-saving perk when buying a used car, but new rules will see that benefit axed from October when they vanish from our windscreens.  And motorists need to be aware of impending tax disc changes or face a £1,000 fine as well as potential penalty charges against a car they no longer own, experts warn.

Automatic number plate recognition cameras enforcing road tax will end any tax disc is in the post excuses and spell penalties for those who forget to renew, while those buying and selling used cars will need to make doubly sure everything is done by the book.

The death of the tax disc has been well documented. This is Money revealed the Government was plotting its demise back in 2012 and the change was officially announced in last year’s Autumn Statement.  Yet experts at hpicheck.com say many drivers are likely to get caught out and now realise that the end of the tax disc will also see a tightening of enforcement.

From 1 October 2014, the Driving Vehicle and Licensing Agency will stop issuing paper tax discs and instead make the system digital. Drivers will instead have the option to pay via Direct Debit or via the Post Office.  Car owners still need to have paid vehicle tax to drive or keep a vehicle on the road, but police cameras will automatically check a car’s number plate to establish if this has been paid.

The move away from paper discs will save motorists money on postage and will offer more flexible payment options, while it will also make it harder for tax dodgers to drive untaxed. Estimates show it will save the taxpayer £10million every year.  It spells the end of the iconic tax disc, which first appeared in 1921.

The new rules also reinforce the onus on used car sellers to inform the DVLA of the change of ownership. HPI provider, hpicheck.com, warns those caught unaware could face fines and charges.  This means for used car buyers, the vehicle tax will no longer be transferred while those selling can claw back unused tax.

Over 1.7billion tax discs have been issued since 1921 – if they were put in a line, they would go around the world three times. Last year, the DVLA issued 42.2million tax discs weighing over 72 tonnes – that’s heavier than a Challenger 2 tank.

Shane Teskey, senior consumer services manager at hpicheck.com, said: ‘Sellers who fail to inform the DVLA, could be fined and they will still be liable for any speeding or parking fines and vehicle tax for a car they don’t even own any more. ‘We remind sellers to always send the V5C to the DVLA, rather than relying on the buyer to do it. And if they scrap a vehicle, they should get a Certificate of Destruction from an authorised treatment facility.’

The DVLA said it is important to notify it straight away of a change to ownership, otherwise the registered keeper could still be liable for the vehicle.  This means that those who sell their car need to get forms filled in and sent off straight away rather than leaving them sat around. Failure to do so can also result in a £1,000 fine.

Shane added: ‘We’re hoping that the new DVLA initiatives will make it harder for dodgy drivers to head out on the road untaxed.  ‘It’s easy to check if your vehicle is taxed by heading online at the Vehicle Enquiry Service, making this the first step for anyone planning to sell their vehicle and avoid the risk of fines.’

Article Reproduced from This Is Money

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