A guide to vehicle tax changes

Tax Disc

As of 1 October 2014 the paper tax disc will be a thing of the past after 93 years of being mounted on motorbikes and stuck to the windscreens of UK cars.

The circular paper will be surplus to requirements with an electronic system coming into place instead.

Now, police cameras will read a vehicle’s number plate to catch any vehicle tax evaders in the act, making the paper insert redundant.

How will it work?

Before anyone gets too carried away, vehicle tax hasn’t been abolished it’s just been updated and if you want to drive on UK roads you will still need to tax your motorbike.

Now though, it’s your bike’s licence that will be used as proof of vehicle tax thanks to a new electronic system.

Do I need to re-tax my bike on 1 October?

No – if you have already paid to tax your motorbike then it is still valid until the expiry date on your tax disc.

You don’t need to pay again or update your details, in fact you can rip up your tax disc from 1 October – you won’t need it anymore.

How will I know when to renew my road tax?

Despite showing the date of expiry for your motorbike’s tax, the tax disc that’s been sat on your bike for the past six or 12 months does not just serve as a reminder of when you need to fork out some more cash.

So if you’re worried that you might forget to renew your vehicle tax then don’t panic – the good people at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will still send you a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire.

What about when I buy a vehicle?

When you buy a new motorbike or vehicle, vehicle tax will not be transferred and you will need to get new vehicle tax before you use it.

This can be done via the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C), either online or over the phone.

And it’s available 24 hours a day for seven days a week. You can also do this in a Post Office branch.

Will I lose money if I sell my vehicle and there is outstanding time left on my vehicle tax?

If you plan to sell your vehicle after 1 October and there are outstanding months left on your vehicle tax, you can get a refund for any outstanding time that remains.

So, if you sell your bike on the 1 November and it’s taxed until the 1 December, you can claim one month’s worth of vehicle tax payment back.

When you notify the DVLA that you have sold, scrapped, exported or removed the vehicle from the road (Statutory Off Road Notification or SORN), you will automatically be issued a refund.

Similarly, if you change the tax class on the vehicle to an exempt class, you will also be refunded automatically.

You must notify the DVLA when you sell your vehicle as you could be fined as much as £1,000 fine if you do not.

How can I pay my vehicle tax?

You will be able to pay your vehicle tax by Direct Debit as part of the new ‘electronic’ service – a new way of paying for your vehicle tax – however this will only be available to those who wish to tax their vehicle from 1 November.

This applies to annual, six monthly or monthly payment plans.

While your MOT certificate remains valid, the DVLA will continue to take payments automatically until you cancel the Direct Debit.

If you inform the DVLA that you have sold the vehicle or it has been taken off the road your payments will be automatically stopped.

The Direct Debit payment option will not be available for first registration vehicles, fleet schemes or HGVs paying the Road User Levy.

How can I check my vehicle’s tax status?

You can check your vehicle’s tax status with just your registration number here.

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