Sunday, October 19, 2014

The new car tax system: Are you complying with the rules?

In case you hadn’t heard, October heralded the biggest change in the way we tax our vehicles for almost 100 years. As of now, the paper tax disc, which we have all become so used to, has been replaced forever as the DVLA opt for a more cost efficient, environmentally friendly and modern database.

car tax system

But as you rip-up your old disc for good (actually don’t do that, some are going for a fortune on ebay!) make sure you are complying with the new changes to the UK car tax system.

Here are a few things to remember...

1. Make sure you’re still paying your tax

Just because we no longer have to display the tax disc, cars, lorries and motorcycles still need to be taxed. It’s just that the information is kept by the DVLA, who can check to see who has paid, and more importantly, who hasn’t.

2. Choose how regularly you want to pay

The DVLA’s new digital database means motorists can now choose to pay by direct debit as well as deciding when they make their payments. Pay annually, every six months or monthly if you wish; all you have to do is visit the DVLA website or go to your local post office.

3. Don’t think the authorities can’t tell if you’ve paid your tax

Just because you no longer have to display a tax disc, it doesn’t mean the DVLA can’t tell if you’ve paid or not. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to catch those who haven’t paid up and the police will also be able to cross reference registration numbers on the Police National Computer system and fine drivers up to £1000 if they haven’t made a payment and are subsequently committing a serious motoring offence.

4. Wait until your tax is not due just yet

If your tax is not due for renewal yet, don’t worry. You don’t need to do anything. You can even take your old tax disc off the windscreen. When it comes time to buy your road tax, you can renew it using the new system.

5. It’s different if you’re buying or selling a car

As of October 1st, if you buy a car, you’ll need to tax it yourself. This is because the system of transferring road tax with a vehicle once it has sold has now ended. If you sell your car, which still has tax remaining on it you must tell the DVLA, they will then give you a refund for any FULL MONTHS of tax you have remaining.

6. Foreign countries are aware of the changes

Though most European countries still require drivers to display some kind of disc or proof of road tax payment, UK cars will not need to show anything when driving abroad. However, the government assured drivers that all European authorities have been told about the new system.

7. Check the status of your tax online

You can look up the tax status of any vehicle by using DVLA’s Vehicle Enquiry System. Don’t worry, you will also still be sent a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire. But in the meantime you can look-up the tax status of any vehicle by using DVLA’s Vehicle Enquiry System.

8. Still inform the DVLA if your car is off the road

If your vehicle is registered as off the road (SORN) you’ll already need to inform the DVLA in the same way that you always did. But it’s worth remembering you’ll automatically receive a refund under the new scheme, but only for any FULL months’ worth of tax that is unused.

Author Bio: Written by journalist, blogger, writer and now keen collector of old car tax discs Matthew Crist on behalf of Caddick Davies Solicitors, motoring defence specialists .

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