- From 1st October 2014, we no longer have to display tax disks in the window of our cars
- Electronic monitoring registers whether a car is taxed or not
- Part of a wider Modernise Motoring Services plan by the government
There's a really useful section on the DVLA website containing lots of useful questions and answers about this change. It's well worth visiting to get the full story. Why are they doing it? “The benefits of paper tax discs have become redundant over time as the DVLA and police rely on DVLA's electronic vehicle register to check if a vehicle is taxed.”
So, essentially what they're saying is that the tax disc was little more than a tangible proof of purchase, as the authorities that used to check them in car windscreens can now make these checks far more efficiently. That seems to make sense. You can still pay for your disc in the post office if you don't want to use the increasingly-popular online renewal service. And you'll still get a reminder through the post so that you don't accidentally forget to renew it.
"With all this in mind, it seems to make great admin-saving sense. So why are some people against this? Perhaps you don't trust computers our automated systems and might get comfort out of having a real paper document to prove your car is legally taxed? You might also keep your tax discs for nostalgic purposes. Many drivers keep their old discs so that they can reminisce that summer of 1976 – the tax discs says which car was insured at the time and this might bring back happy automotive memories."
Perhaps you'll miss that paper disc in the bottom corner of your windscreen and initially be concerned that something's missing, though concern over its absence will probably soon pass. And if you're worried that you're driving an untaxed vehicle (maybe a pool car or hire car) you can enter the car's make and registration number on the Gov.uk website.
Let's look on the bright side – no more accidentally ripping the circular tax disc as you fiddle with the serrations while trying to remove it from its rectangular form. And who hasn't been frustrated trying to get the sticky plastic holder to actually stick to the screen, successfully fold the disc into the holder or get the holder to stay on in extreme heat? Or those tax disc holders that use such strong glue that they won't come off without a hefty tug and leave a nasty reside for you scrape off. Will you miss that hassle?
Let's not forget that the government didn't just make this change arbitrarily. It's part of their wider Modernise Motoring Services plan which included a public consultation on car tax discs. Most respondents agreed for the paper tax disc to be abolished as displaying a paper tax disc is now considered an outdated way to identify untaxed vehicles.
The car tax disc has gone, so whether or not we like it, that's a fact. Do you miss its passing or is it a welcome mark of progress?