Don’t have a taxing time over vehicle changes

tax disc


Here’s everything you need to remember

With the abolition of the vehicle tax disc taking effect from 1st October, a flurry of confused people have been asking about the situation through social media leading road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists, to take the opportunity to clarify the rules.

Essentially you will still need to buy vehicle tax to keep any vehicle on the road, you will still receive a reminder from the DVLA, and you can continue paying using the previous methods. However now you will be able to pay by continuous direct debit – meaning there will never be a risk of forgetting to pay, and driving an untaxed car. This direct debit will continue as long as there is a valid MOT for the vehicle.

One major change the new road tax rules has created is that vehicle tax can no longer be transferred with the vehicle if you sell it – often an added incentive when purchasing a vehicle. If after 1 October you sell a vehicle and have notified the DLVA, you will automatically receive a refund for any full months remaining on that vehicle tax. So unfortunately you will now always have to buy new vehicle tax when you purchase a new or used vehicle.

As of 1st October, you will no longer be obliged to display a paper tax disc on your car – so you are free to remove and destroy it. However you might want to keep it as a souvenir, if you are feeling sentimental over the disappearance of an iconic part of UK motoring life!

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “As with all new systems, it will take a little time to get used to. But the move to allow people to set up a direct debit will mean greater peace of mind for many, so your vehicle will never be untaxed. However, moving more of these processes online will make things very difficult for those without regular internet access – as ever, the poor and elderly could lose out.”


  1. Since the DVLA will only issue a refund to the original owner after they have received the original V5C document and currently allow themselves up to 6 weeks from the day of the vehicle transfer to receive and process the new V5C document, without the OCR camera system being alerted, the possibility of new owners being caught in the act of committing the offence would appear to be minimalistic in the absence of them being involved in an unfortunate road traffic accident or misbehaving in front of a police car on the way home.

    What happens after the DVLA receive the paperwork and start comparing dates might be a different matter, however, but by then being after the event, proving that it was not the original owner who kindly offered to drive you home and complete the sale on your property might present something of a problem for them.

    Until the system becomes completely computerized – with original owners being required under the threat of massive penalty to log onto the DVLA website to inform of the vehicle transfer immediately and create a record in real time – it is difficult to see how this change of legislation will produce any results worthy of the extreme nuisance it will cause us all.

    If or when the system becomes fully computerized, the tiny extra effort it would require for the computer to calculate the exact pro-rata part-month refund for the previous owner and the exact pro-rata charge for the balance of the month for the new owner would remove any excuse for the double charging which clearly most respondents find unfair and extremely offensive.

    If it ain’t going to catch the bad guys, why should the rest of us have to suffer so?

    The principle of ‘period of grace’ has been acceptable in the past where road tax fund licences have been renewed after the start of the month of their new period and until new tax discs purchased by telephone or online have been delivered by surface mail and for vehicles failing an MOT to be driven home.

    Is there really no opportunity for fairer treatment for the vast majority of us who have paid up when required up until now, but who now face the prospect of becoming criminalized? – at very least, say, by making the end of the day of the vehicle transfer, the ‘one-minute-to midnight’ principle, apply as the official point of changeover of responsibility for road tax from one owner to the next?

  2. I believe that most people who have had tax disc issues before will view the change as another potential unwanted problem of motoring life that they could do without. Just as a taster, what are you going to do if you wish to buy your next vehicle from a private seller? The seller cannot pass on any road fund licence with the vehicle, so if you purchase you will do so with the vehicle not taxed! Is the vehicle owner going to give you the registration document for the vehicle unless you have purchased it? If you purchase the vehicle without a valid Road Fund attached to it’s record, how are you going to transport it home? If you drive it on the public roads you risk being caught by an A.N.P.R. camera and will be penalized for having no tax. Your options would appear to be to have it transported to your residence and keep it off road until you acquire Road Tax, or get a registered trader to drive the vehicle for you on their Trade plates until you get the Tax you required. Have fun all you private buyers.

  3. the refund system has always only refunded you for the full months remaining and also its the same as before if you tax half way through the month its back dated to the start of that month so its no different to before if any thing most of us sell a car with whatever tax is in the window as a selling point ,and for traders refunding what you have left has been extra bonus although this did stop a couple of years ago

  4. Here we go again, another scheme from DVLA to extract extra cash for no added benefit, if we dispose mid month we lose a full month refund and if we purchase mid month we lose a month so one vehicle changing hands once per year will generate 13 months tax!

  5. So how does someone who borrows a vehicle now know that it is taxed if they can’t see the actual tax disc? Who is responsible if you are stopped by the police driving someone else’s car if it turns out to NOT be taxed?
    Definitely agree with Jacob below and as always the motorist will lose out. It’s already bad enough that most taxes raised from Fuel and RFL do not get spent on roads and travel but used to support other Government schemes. Again, the elderly will also as its not just about having internet access you need to be able to use it too.

  6. Rip off and making it difficult, that’s what it is. You’re wrong Neil… Yes, you will receive a refund but ONLY FOR FULL MONTHS!!! Let’s say you tax is valid until 31.12.2014. So if you sell your car on the 15th of November 2014 for example,you, as a last owner, will only get a refund for whole December and the new owner will have to buy tax starting from 1st of November, despite being half way through this month.

    So DVLA WILL MAKE MILLIONS ON IT!!! Seller and buyer will loose.

  7. Sounds like another DVLA rip off. If I buy a vehicle in the first week of the month and have a part exchange then I have lost the remainder of the months tax and have to pay for a full months tax on the new vehicle!! DVLA will make millions from this and somebody should be providing answers to where the money will be going.

    • The remainder gets refunded to you Graham