Tax disc RIP...

14 December 2012

The English version of that scene from American Beauty

The iconic, humble tax disc, is about to become a thing of the past as ministers look to send them to the scrapheap in a bid to save money and streamline services.

A report, published by the Department for Transport yesterday, reckons that tax discs will become digitised. The police have to check the DVLA's computers to see whether a car is taxed or not, thereby, making tax discs rather redundant.

"We will remove the need for unnecessary paper, including abolishing the driving licence counterpart and consider the continuing need for the tax disc,” concluded the report from Stephen Hammond, a Roads Minister.

Motoring groups describe the proposed changes as 'the end of a motoring era' and something that is almost certain to divide opinion.

AA President Edmund King said “traditionalists will mourn the tax disc’s passing” but added: “Motoring and vehicle information is increasingly going online. The police use number-plate reading camera technology to check car details on their own or on the DVLA’s database.”

TOPICS:   Motoring


  • lolwut
    I look forward to their saving of costs being passed on to me in the form of slightly cheaper tax. Oh wait.
  • Marky M.
    I wonder if it's the same number plate reading technology they use at Luton Airport's short stay car park? The one that gets two out of the seven characters in my plate completely wrong?
  • sdutton007
    It's about time they got rid of tax discs - what a complete waste of everyone's time! Can anybody think of a reason to have VED (vehicle excise duty - more commonly known as 'road tax')? The average car owner gives nearly £1,000 in tax per year on petrol/diesel alone and just £110 on VED. Why not simply put up fuel prices by a small amount and scrap the VED completely (i.e. so we will pay the same amount but it will be much more convenient)? That would also give the benefit of lower costs to people with sensible cars and higher costs to all those idiots who drive giant SUVs (wrongly called 4x4s in this country) to do the school run. IMHO: If you are a farmer, then yes, a SUV would probably be a good idea. If you are a middle-aged housewife who only drives the kids to school and to go to the supermarket then it's just really selfish (I can expand on this if anybody cares) and a giant waste of money. And don't give me that rubbish about safety - they make the road more dangerous for everybody else, and are much more likely to flip than a normal car!
  • william r.
    Or perhaps they could tax the people a little more who have the time to write long winded post's on why the tax disc should be got rid of..............
  • Samantha
    To me it feels like an excuse to hand the police more power. They no longer need a reason to run a check on your car, they were just looking if your tax was up to date. Not that I drive around in stolen cars or anything so I don't suppose it really bothers me.
  • Dj_urban
    Really, The only upside is having the windscreen clear of anything stuck to it now I suppose, Unless you have sat nav and a phone holder stuck to your windscreen lol
  • I n.
    Hope they finally get some balls and prosecute all those owners of foreign registered cars who don't pay their fricking tax. Arseholes round here who have been in the country for over 7 years and still haven't bought tax or registered the cars as such and DVLA do fuck all about it when reported
  • Paul
    Yet another tiresome and misinformed rant about the "selfishness" of SUV drivers. Is it the size on the road and the fact you can't see past? Ban vans, lorries and buses while you are at it as they all cause the same problem - but somehow you live with it without frothing at the mouth. Is it the pollution? Mine does 32 mpg and has 7 seats so on the school run it can take 6 kids - hence doing the work of 2 cars. Finally I don't care what you call mine but it does have 4x4...have you been outside in the last few days? Mine is a lot less likely to wind up the wrong way up as a result of that 4x4 you mock. And when it starts snowing properly mine will hopefully keep going when almost everything else has stopped. It may even help to pull stranded cars out of snow drifts or deliver supplies to cut off communities, deliver people to hospital in an emergency. So please stop being such an ill informed reactionary's just another car essentially and I choose to pay for the fuel that goes in it, for the extra insurance and yes, the road tax, so just get over it. There are a lot worse things to get worried about than the informed choice made by others.
  • Mr. P.
    @ Paul If you genuinely can't see how shot full of holes your argument is, then perhaps the sound of taking six kids to school (and I'm certain you never actually do that) has fried your brain. Alternatively, you're just a tit.
  • Gary
    @ Mr. Patel I think Paul is the alternative, certainly sounds like he is. Paul instead of encouraging lard-assedness in those 6 devil spawns why not encourage the little fcukers to cycle to school, therbey promoting good health and general fitness along with doing your bit for Mother Nature and Planet Earth? Cue a jack assed response....its all Me Me Me!
  • Paul
    How is my argument shot full of holes? Not much of a debate if you can't even bring a single point to the table, beyond speculation that possibly I don't drive everywhere with 7 people on board I would argue that does not invalidate my choice of car or make me selfish. Resorting to childish abuse won't make your lentil weaving opinions any more relevant but perhaps it is you who is the tit.
  • Philip o.
    @Paul So when was tbe last time you delivered supplies to a cut off community? Or pulled a stranded car out of a snow drift? Or even delivered someone to hospital in an emergency? If I dial 999 will you turn up in your Vauxhall Ziafra wearing a cape & a mask?
  • Steve C.
    There are plenty of reasons for scrapping VED and adding the deficit to fuel duty. 1) encourage more efficient vehicles 2) encourage more efficient driving style 3) make multiple car ownership easier i.e. big family car in the garage for big family journeys and small Eco car for solo commuting to work And anecdotally, most cars don't go around fully occupied; school runs and motorway road warriors alike. So I guess we could all be more efficient on occasions.
  • Oscar
    This site is full of idiots. As a 4x4 owner I can tell you that they're the best sort of vehicles to own ... modern ones are low MPG and very safe. For example, I was recently doing the school run when a small child ran out in front of me. In a normal car this could have caused an accident. Not so in my 4x4 as I just ran the little chap over ... my passengers tell me that they didn't even notice a bump (although I have uprated the suspension as recommended to me by the local club)! I imagine in a hatchback or saloon some repairs to the bumpers would be needed ... I just used a small amount of t-cut and all the scratches were gone. A win for us 4x4 owners.
  • Wilfy G.
    VEL's are totally unnecessary now and it really is time they went. I also agree that the savings should be passed on to the motorist and not just given to HMRC. Though I can guess what will happen. As for 4x4's ..... until all the haters are riding bicycles and not polluting the planet with emissions from the use petrol cars or manufacture of electric cars then for goodness sake wind your necks in. Petroleum will run out soon anyway at the rate we are using it so it will be back to steam and horses probably ! Then none of this will matter ....
  • maxtweenie
    Why is everyone getting worked up about the VED? They aren't scrapping the tax, just the printed disc that goes on the windscreen. You'll still have to pay it, you just won't get anything physical for your cash.
  • captain c.
    1/ Anyone want to bet that the new "efficient" system will end up costing TWICE as much as the old tax disc?? 2/ Chelsea tractors - they give their drivers a vastly over-inflated sense of security and power; as a PROFESSIONAL school run driver (ie , I get paid to deliver children to multiple schools), it is nearly always the big 4x4's causing the problems, either driving too fast - even in the gravel covered carparks; blocking the road by parking badly, or trying to bully other road users out of the way. I also had to laugh at the belief that they are better in the snow; on the few occasions I have encountered heavy snow where I live, I have ALWAYS come across a large group of 4x4's stuck at the bottom of a valley; confident their toy can take them anywhere, they ignore the cleared road and go for the side road, then find wide, low profile road tyres are useless on snow or ice. (proud owner of "AutoSocks" tm). Even without my socks on, I have often managed to use BASIC skills to drive where 4x4's have crashed (ie slow down, be gentle on the throttle, avoid using the brakes); I once made the 20 mile journey to hospital in heavy, icy snow using only idle and a gentle rise of the clutch pedal (~18 mph in 5th)
  • james d.
    my worry is that almost every year I have to go to the post office and buy my tax disc as the system never updates that my new insurance is in place in time. It worked one year for some reason but every other year it has not. Will I still be able to do this?
  • Mr M.
    @ SUV/4x4 owners Unless you drive a defender, modern 4x4's are as useless as a car in anything as slippy as wet tarmac. You're not fooling anyone about rescue missions to save stranded Aunt Mildred and her 8 cats
  • Andy A.
    Stupid idea - how do I now tell if my annoying neighbour has tax or not - so I can then shop him to the police everytime he parks in my f*cking parking place Every car i see that is parked in my local area taking up valuable parking space and has no tax - i inform the local police - I've got a pretty good clamping and towing record. no tax = no insurance = kill someone and you are as good as driving the knife in even further to the people left behind.
  • Lord S.
    Well, I drive a 4x4 because I want everyone to know I'm loaded and better than them. Peasants...
  • Alexis
    They should ditch the new car punishment tax. They say they want to help the economy and then they clobber you for a few hundred pounds if you buy a new car.
  • Jamie
    Sticking bits of paper to your car is a bit dated really.
  • captain c.
    ....and covering your 1ltr, clapped out Corsa with body kits and "Turbo" badges is really, really sad.
  • sdutton007
    @ Paul: The selfishness I mentioned does partly include the fact that they block visibility, stopping other road users from being able to anticipate what's happening ahead - all they can see is your brake lights, not whether there has been an accident ahead. In the split second they have to react, how are they supposed to tell if you are doing an emergency stop or just slowing 1MPH??? But the main factor IMHO is the fact that if you crash (regardless of fault) into another vehicle, there is a *MUCH* higher probability of you killing or seriously injuring the occupants. Also, pedestrians stand almost no chance of survival if you hit them. Vans/lorries/buses are necessary for many many reasons - what possible reason do you have to drive a big SUV in the middle of summer through a city like so many others? And how many of these big 7 seaters do you think actually carry more than 1 or 2 passengers for the majority of the time they spend on the roads? Very few! Yours might have 4 wheel drive but many "4x4s" DON'T. And Imprezas, Lancer Evos, Audi Quattros are all 4WD but are definitely not "4x4s" in the UK's definition. And yes, 4x4s are much better at those things you mentioned but how much of your time do you actually spend delivering people to hospitals and pulling out stranded cars???
  • ooooer
    I really dislike SUVs because they are just too wide. Car park spaces weren't really designed with them in mind and my heart sinks if one sneaks in next to me - it often means I can't get in my car until it moves unless I want to clamber in via the passenger side door, plus the risk of dings if passengers are clumsy when opening the door.
  • Mr. P.
    @ ooooer Tip: keep a hammer in your glovebox. Not to beat out the dents in your car, but to return the favour.
  • jimbob
    if tax discs were abolished there would be far more unregistered/un roadworthycars on the road, and if you hit one, or more likely get hit by one, then your insurance is going to go up, as you just hit yet another uninsured driver. a tax disc shows tax is paid, the police do not have the time or resource to scan every car on every road.
  • bilbo
    @ Mr. Patel Lol your such a [email protected]
  • masstrbait
    Hi there, simply was aware of your blog thru Google, and located that it's truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate in the event you continue this in future. Numerous folks will likely be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!
  • sdutton007
    I replied 2 days ago, but it is still 'awaiting moderation' so I'm gonna repost: @ jimbob The police actually DO have the time and resources to scan just about every car on the road – many police cars now read every numberplate that goes past them, and it flags up if the car is missing tax/insurance/MOT. There are also automatic numberplate recognition cameras which can provide a similar functionality. There should be no increase in the number of untaxed vehicles on the road let alone un-roadworthy vehicles which would not be affected by this…
  • michael
    sdsutton jealosy is a very dangerous thing merry xmas
  • sdutton007
    @michael: WTF are you on about, fuckwit?
  • phil 2.
    although taxed police stopped me and said i wasnt,the computer apparently is usually 2-3 days behind the truth.without mypaper disc showing i was taxed i would have got a ticket.get technology that works before killing the tax disc.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment