On the 1st October 2014, the rules governing car tax discs changed. The news was well publicised (we covered it here) but people seem to have struggled to come to terms with the new legislation, and many were completely unaware that anything had happened.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the updates since the changes came into effect (and be sure to visit our previous post if you’re unsure of the rules).
The Lack of Awareness Issue
Surveys reveal that 83% of respondents from across the UK were aware that a tax disc change had taken place however, in spite of swathes of publicity and campaigns, it appears that there is still a lack of awareness from the public with many still unsure of what the change involves.
This issue appears especially marked in London, where a survey revealed that only 50% of car owners were aware that the change had taken effect, or that there was a change at all.
London car owners are not the only people that the police are having trouble reaching with their message, and it appears that young people are also not overly aware of the changes. According to the same survey, only 65% of those between 25 and 34 are aware of the change.
A Hitch with the Roll Out: Do People Care?
Admittedly, government schemes rarely roll out without a hitch, and the tax disc scheme was no exception, with the DVLA website crashing and Post Office branches being unsure how to react to requests for new discs.
Overall, response to the new initiative was relatively muted, and the vast majority of car owners kept their tax discs firmly in place. Although some have been binned, many remain in car windows up and down the country, with most ambivalent to the change. It seems as though, despite a lot of talk about nostalgia, many simply ignored the change.
A New Market Spawns
Those who did remove their tax discs and threw them in the bin may actually regret this move, as many old tax discs are on sale on the internet, with some listed for up to £1,000. This online market may seem rather unusual, especially as the discs are now worthless, but there seems to be a large appetite for the now obsolete discs.
The world record for a car tax disc currently stands at £810, and this was for a tax disc that expired in 1921. If kept in good condition for a while, a current, expired tax disc could be worth some cash in the future, so it may be worth keeping hold of.
Police Create New Use for Car Tax Disc Holder
Now that there is no need for the paper tax disc, people up and down the UK have invented imaginative ways to use the old transparent plastic envelopes. From ice scraper holders to personalised displays, there are a number of things you can use it for.
Malvern’s police force has come up with what is possibly the most practical idea for the holder, and it is one that could possibly save lives. The idea is that each tax disc holder will be filled with a card that contains emergency contact information as well as a medical alert card.
This means that if a car is involved in a collision or if there is a medical emergency behind the wheel, then whoever responds will have immediate access to the driver’s medical records, saving precious time that could possibly save a life.
Police point out that because it folds in on itself, all of the information on the card can be kept private unless it is needed by a medical professional, meaning that your personal information will not be on display for all to see.
Of course, this is not a legal requirement, but if you think it sounds like a good idea, then visit the @MalvernCops Twitter account for a template.