UK Tax Disc

Road tax changes 2014 – how they affect you


The tax disc is about to leave your vehicle. From October 1, the vehicle excise duty you pay will fade from its current physical rendering to nothing but an obscure digital record on an anonymous Government database. You’ll no longer be required to display a tax disc, but the changes run much deeper than just the cosmetic… Here’s the Crawley Down Group’s must-read guide to road tax changes 2014 and how they affect you.

Frequently asked questions: stay legal on the road

All you need to know keep on the road

All you need to know keep on the road

So, you think abolishing the tax disc is as simple as plucking a tatty piece of paper from your car’s windscreen and feeding it to your pet gerbil? Wrong. Read our extensive list of FAQs to make sure you don’t get caught out – and slapped with a large and unpleasant fine.

So what’s happening:
The Government has decided to rid cars of paper tax discs – because it says they’re obsolete in the modern world – and store records on a digital database. From October 1, 2014, you can rip up your disc without the fear of finding a DVLA-stamped wheel clamp adorning your motor.
Does that mean I don’t have to pay VED anymore:
We think you already know the answer to that. However, just for the record – you will still need to pay.
How does the new system work for vehicles already exempt:
Nothing changes, owners will still need to apply as normal. Once again, the only change is they’ll not get a paper disc.
How will I know when I need to pay my road tax now the disc has gone:
Don’t panic, drivers will still receive reminders through the post. The forms will be exactly the same as they are at present.
So how will I know if my car is taxed:
Simple – as long as you have access to the internet. Just head to where you can enter the vehicle’s numberplate and make to reveal if it’s currently taxed. You’ll also be provided with the car’s MOT renewal date. Great for snooping on your neighbours, too.
What if I need a tax disc to get a parking permit:
Local Authorities should be aware of changes to how the system works.
Won’t this make road tax evasion easier:
The DVLA takes enforcement action directly from its vehicle register – so a fine will be dispatched to the owner without the car ever being spotted on the road – which is why you should always notify DVLA as soon as possible when you sell a car. However, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and wheel clamping will also be used. These measures are already in place and the DVLA says that VED evasion is at a historic low of 0.6%. However, this figure still amounts to around 170,000 tax dodgers.
How do I get a refund on my road tax:
The registered keep of the vehicle will automatically get a refund when they let the DVLA they’re selling the vehicle or declaring a SORN.
Will savings from not having to print 42million discs each year be passed to motorists:
Once again, we think you already know the answer to that. Here’s a clue – the answer is no!
I haven’t got internet access, can I tax my car:
Yes, the Post Office will continue to take payment – just don’t hold up the queue waiting for the bespectacled postmaster to give you a disc – it won’t happen.
How can I check if a vehicle is taxed as disabled because customers who are eligible for disabled tax receive concessions with parking, toll bridges and for other fees:
From 1 October 2014, you will be able to check the vehicle tax class and status of any vehicle online at You just need to provide the vehicle number plate and the make of the vehicle.

New road tax rules and buying a used car

The new system also has implications when it comes to buying a used car. Here’s our guide

What if I buy a second-hand car – can I drive it home: Not unless you organise tax before you hit the road. The new system means road tax is linked to the owner and not the car. A DVLA spokesperson told us:

Anyone buying a car can tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online or by using our automated phone service – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In short, to stay legal you will need to stand at the side of the road and buy road tax before you drive away. Make sure you take your tablet or mobile.

Prices: Many used cars were sold with a premium on the basis that they came with a good chunk of road tax. This will no longer be the case because road tax won’t be transferred to the new owner. Aside from the inconvenience of having to organise your own tax, the new system should see prices of used cars fall – especially when buying from a private seller. Make sure you don’t pay for what you’re not getting.

Haggle down: Searching online for a cheap car, we found a 13-year-old Ford Focus 1.8 Zetec 3dr up for £500. The car was described as ‘rusty’ but a ‘good runner’ and a great stop-gap with six months tax and MOT. We checked the website and confirmed this to be the case. Therefore, when the new non-transferable road tax system comes into place, the cost of this car should drop by at least £124.00 – the value of six months tax (the website will confirm these figures when you enter the numberplate). However, in reality, we would expect the £500 asking price to fall to around £300.00 because the instant drive-away value of the vehicle is severely depleted. Grab a few back-copies of the current Autotrader issue, which will help you compare prices of tax disc-included cars – and those without the perk. Just remember – the tax remaining on the car is refunded to the owner and not transferred with the car.

Check before you buy: Now that you’ll need to get road tax before you drive away, make sure the car you’re buying really does have an MOT. Ask the vendor for the vehicle’s numberplate before you view, then enter it here to check it has a valid certificate. The result will also tell you the vehicle’s road tax status. Use this to validate the vendor’s back story on the car – such as claims it’s used on a daily basis. If true, the road tax should be current or recently cancelled – finding the car has a long-standing SORN status would suggest a dealer masquerading as a private seller.

How to buy your new disc-free road tax

Buy your road tax online, on the phone or at the Post Office

Buy your road tax online, on the phone or at the Post Office

You can still use the official website, 24-hour automated phone line or Post Office counter, but there’s now the new option of direct debit…

Direct debit: A welcome change for hard-pressed drivers means direct debit payments can be used to spread the cost of buying road tax. From October 1, 2014, motorists will be able to use the service to pay annually, 6-monthly or monthly (12 months tax must be purchased if paid for on a monthly basis). Paying monthly will cost slightly more than settling-up in one lump sum, with a 5% surcharge on the 12-month total – this would be around £9.00 for 2.0-litre diesel-powered Ford S-Max.

Buy your road tax here: Use these gateways to buy your new disc-free road tax.

Telephone (24-hour automated service): 0300 123 4321
Post Office: Use this Post Office finder to locate the closest branch

Buyer beware:

As with many official sites, such as passport applications and tax returns, online payment of VED has fallen victim to ‘copycat’ websites that charge cash for services the genuine sites offer for free. Websites such as look very similar to the official site but charge you £40.00 to apply for a disc on its site – on top of the road tax fee itself. has ceased trading, but expect many more of these sites to spring up with the introduction of the new system as unscrupulous traders prey on confusion. Like, most won’t be acting illegally, but the look and feel of the site and small disclaimer make it blatantly clear they’re attempting to dupe buyers. Only ever buy online road tax from

What to look out for: Using the site as an example, here’s how to spot a ‘copycat’ website. Simply touch the blue hotspots.

Don’t pay road tax

Why not go one better than not having a tax disc – by not paying any road tax, either? Here are three of our favourite cars that emit less than 100g/km of CO2 and come with a zero-rated road tax bill.

Renault Twizy Urban
CO2: 0g/km
Road tax: £00.00
Possibly not the most practical option, but if you don’t mind being stared at or getting wet and cold – this all-electric ‘car’ could be the tax-free option for you.

Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI 60PS SE Greentech

citigo-pete Price: £9,420
CO2 emissions: 96g/km
Road tax: £00.00
Based on the Volkswagen Up, the Citigo is one of the best city cars on the market. It might cost a little more, but it offers impressive refinement compared with other three-cylinder counterparts in the segment.

Dacia Sandero 1.5 dCi 90 Ambiance
Price: £8,595
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
Road tax: £00.00
The five-door body offers plenty of room and the 1.5-litre  diesel engine is a step up from most three-cylinder petrol-powered motors, while Ambiance trim provides far more salubrious cabin than cheaper petrol models.

You’re dumped…

Still a bit confused, then why not watch this official video of a chap (who looks like Nick Tilsley from Coronation Street) dumping his girlfriend – who just happens to be a tax disc.

What are you going to do with yours…

Now that your tax disc has been consigned to the bin, what are you going to do with your now empty tax disc holder? From a picture of your pet gerbil to a handy holder for your circular beer mat collection… we’re looking for  your suggestions? Just enter your ideas in the comments for below.

11 thoughts on “Road tax changes 2014 – how they affect you

  1. Kevin Coomber

    A thought – isn’t it true that the ONLY thing that can be attached to your screen ( any part ) when driving is the Road Fund Licence ? On this basis the screen should be completely clear when driving. No parking permits and no stick-on rear-view mirrors ! Of course, these rules were put in place when rear-view mirrors hung from the roof so you’ll find that most police cars are also contravening the rules.

  2. fc

    It should also be mentioned that if the car you are buying is “disabled” tax exempt you will need to register the change back to plg tax before you can tax it
    you cannot do this online or at the local DVLA offices as they have closed them all – the only way is to go to the local post office and fill in a V70 and pay a fee of £25 as well as buying tax there and then – this makes buying cars from private sellers at the weekend or out of working hours very risky and questions should be asked beforehand about vehicle tax exemption or check on the .gov website
    on the plus side you might find post offices open at weekends and late nights so it is worth checking but is very inconvenient as you cannot drive your new car to tax it ….

  3. Dom

    OK. I have just bought a car from an elderly couple, lovely people. They were/are exempt from paying tax on their vehicle so when taxing it on line or wherever, it is automatically taxed for the full 12 months. NOW THIS IS MY PROBLEM. How am i supposed to tax this car to drive it away from this lovely couples house if i cannot tax the car??? I have searched and searched for an answer, and it cannot be taxed by myself because its already taxed for many months to come until the 12 month date is up. I CANT EVEN DRIVE IT HOME……what rule is this? Not very happy right now. Please can someone advise. I have tried to do it on line and it simply tells me to do one. Really am trying to do this the right way…….but laws may be broken if i cant get it taxed!!!!!

  4. Chris

    Just fell victim to this new rule… Bought a car for my wife today, agreed a price as car is spot on. Changed the insurance, went to tax it and its disabled class.
    I cannot do anything as the government website wants me to put in all my ‘disabled’ details (which I don’t have).

    I’m now stuck not being able to collect the car for a few days and her car is no longer insured.

    Unfortunately the seller didn’t realise I couldnt just change it over online now that its all done that way.

    by the way, the car we went to view was nearly two hours away. Weve had to drive back without it and need to sort out a v70 at the post office, pay a fee and then tax it all in one go? (so i’ve read on internet).

    Its a joke!

  5. me

    now the other question is — when you buy a car privately ( plg ) and need to change it to disabled to drive away the same day , why dont dvla make it clearer on the rules as to how to do that ?

  6. william hoggan

    Its another goverment stelth tax
    If you sell your vehicle you get a refund on tax but loose the month your in
    The new owner of the vehicle has to pay tax for that month aswell
    So in effect the government is getting two months tax for the same vehicle.
    But yet the DVLA is saving 10 million pounds i dont see any of that passed on to the motorists.

    It will probably be used to put more speed cameras up so they can screw more money from us easy targets.


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