The answer is probably obvious for most – a resounding ‘yes’! However, you may be surprised to hear that not having that small piece of round paper in your windshield means you forget. If that is you, then know that you are not alone. A recent report in the Guardian discovered that the number of untaxed vehicles in the UK has trebled since the abolition of the tax disc.
The disc was discontinued three years ago, but this did not mean that the payment of road tax was too. It simply moved to an online system, but a recent survey found that the paper disc used to serve as a reminder to many to pay their tax when the time came. As a result of this obvious reminder, it is estimated that around 700,000 vehicles – primarily cars and light goods vehicles – have not renewed (or paid) their tax. What the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority) calculated would be a £10 million saving by removing the need for a physical tax disc has actually resulted in a £107 million in lost tax revenue.
It is illegal of course not to have a fully taxed vehicle. The fine is £1,000 or five times the value of the applicable road tax fee – whichever is greater. It is a question of when, not if, drivers are caught and the DVLA has literally been clamping down on tax evaders with a 166 per cent rise in vehicle clamping since the abolition of the tax disc.
What can you do to remember to tax your vehicle? Some tried and tested tricks include:
- Keeping an old tax disc displayed in your windshield to jog your memory. It may sound silly to some, but around three million people swear by this method!
- Timing your MOT or annual service to coincide with your tax anniversary. This may mean taxing your vehicle for six months the first time to get the timing right
- Alternatively, timing it so that renewing your tax is done at the same time as renewing your insurance
It is also worth remembering that tax is no longer transferable when a vehicle is sold, so if you have bought a vehicle then it is your responsibility to tax it straightaway – unless you are applying for a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). This change came in at the same time as the abolition of the tax disc and has also caught a few drivers unaware – about one-third of those who bought and sold vehicles, in fact.
It is easier than ever to tax your vehicle. While you can continue to pay in Post Office branches, by post, and by phone, online renewals are quick and easy and all you need is your renewal number which you can find on your reminder. You can also set up email reminders and do your bit for the environment by doing away with the need for paper copies.
Don’t want to think about vehicle tax? All our vans are fully taxed making it one less thing for you to worry about. Let our CVS Van Hire team help you find the right van for your needs by talking to us on 020 8003 2785.