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Motorists must understand latest car tax changes

Later this year, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will abolish the traditional tax disc, meaning that motorists will no longer have to clutter their windscreens with pieces of paper. For those with personal number plates, the news might be greeted with great approval, as drivers will finally be able to have the chic and clutter-less car they’ve longed for. However, along with ridding vehicles of meaningless paperwork, it’s important for motorists to understand how the new system will work.

From October 1st, DVLA will no longer require vehicle owners to display their tax discs on the windscreen. After 93 years of having to pop the small, paper disc on the dashboard, this tradition is coming to an end, with all tax discs moving to a digital system that’s said to save both time and money. Drivers will be able to pay their car tax via a new Direct Debit system, with the payment option becoming available from November 1st. In addition, drivers will no longer have to pay the entire fee on one day, with six monthly and monthly Direct Debit options available in addition to the commonly used annual payment method.

For those buying a car from October 1st, new tax will have to be bought before motorists can drive. The tax on any vehicle being bought will not transfer with it to its new owners. There are several ways to purchase the tax ahead of time, including over the phone, online or via the Post Office. For the latter, the ‘New Keeper Supplement’ section of the vehicle registration certificate needs to be completed and submitted. Meanwhile, for those selling a car after October 1st, the DVLA must be informed. Once they have the correct information, an automatic refund of any outstanding and full calendar months of tax will be refunded. Drivers will not have to make separate requests for vehicle tax refunds.

Drivers wanting to check the status of their tax will be able to log onto the DVLA’s website and check their vehicle, or any other, for that matter. Meanwhile, though Direct Debits will be available for most people, they don’t apply to HGV’s, first-registration vehicles or fleet schemes.

The changes are relatively simple to understand, with the most important being that tax doesn’t move with a vehicle any longer. It means that more care will have to be taken when buying a car to ensure that it’s legally allowed to be driven.

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