From 1 October 2014 you don't have to display a tax disc - but you still need to tax the vehicle
From today (1 October) a paper tax disc will no longer need to be displayed in the windscreen of vehicles. Drivers will still be required to purchase vehicle excise duty (ved) but will no longer receive a small perforated tax disc in exchange for their money.
Edmund King, AA president, said: "Scrapping the tax disc really is a poignant moment in motoring history and the end of an era. That circular disc in the corner of the windscreen has been an intrinsic part of the look of motoring over the last 93 years. In many ways the car windscreen will look naked without a disc.
“Most drivers probably resented paying the tax, particularly since the link with road improvements was broken*, however at least they got something physical in return for their payment. There was always that dicey moment when it seemed the perforations wouldn't work and the disc would rip in half.”
In response to the change and as a one-off, the AA issued a limited number of windscreen badges to members at the time.
In line with the times, we also told members how to report breakdowns digitally via the AA App, as well as, how to call for assistance.
Some AA members have complained that in certain cases the Government will get ‘double money’ from drivers as someone selling a car during the month will not be able to get a refund for the rest of that month but the buyer must tax the vehicle and pay for the entire month if they want to drive it. The AA had campaigned for drivers to be able to tax their cars from a certain day rather than having to pay for the entire month.
it means someone driving a car that costs £500 pa to tax would lose £41 if they sold it at the beginning of the month
Edmund King, AA president
King added: “This is a downside to the changes as it means someone driving a car that costs £500 pa to tax would lose £41 if they sold it at the beginning of the month. Likewise a buyer purchasing a car mid month would have to pay ved for the entire month.
“There are also potential issues for our patrols towing a vehicle which they will not know immediately if it is taxed. Likewise if a vehicle appears to have been dumped on the roadside the lack of a valid tax disc is often an indication that this is the case."
On the positive side getting rid of the tax disc will remove the bureaucracy of the million duplicate tax discs that have been issued in the last three years, which equates to more than 3% of all vehicles.
Though not as convenient as checking the tax disc in the windscreen anyone can still check the tax status of any vehicle by using the DVLA’s online vehicle enquiry service.
Check if a vehicle is taxed
(First published 1 October 2014. Updated 4 August 2017)
* Road tax was started in 1909 to fund road-building. In 1926, Winston Churchill started the process to abolish road tax as a ring-fenced fund to be spent entirely on the roads. By 1937 the link between road improvements and ‘road tax’ was dead.