No More “Tax” Disc?

British Car Tax DiscYou may be aware of the headlines going around in the motorcycle press that the “Tax Disc” on that we have to display on vehicles is to be withdrawn – that the system for road tax for VED is all set to go digital this year – checks by police from the DVLA records – checks via ANPR cameras – that you will not be able to transfer remaining tax to the new owner – not be entitled to offer the “unexpired tax” with the vehicle from October 2014 – etc etc.

Now the crux of the matter is that it is a proposal and there is a government consultation, draft legislation/clauses for the Finance Bill 2014 published in December 2013 with the closing date for comments Tuesday 4th February 2014.

The proposal basics included in a raft of other tax changes – vat – climate change – stamp duty – company car tax etc etc:

  • motorists will be able to pay their VED by direct debit annually, biannually, or monthly should they wish to do so.
  • A 5 per cent surcharge will apply to biannual and monthly payments; and
  • a paper disc will no longer be issued and required to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen.

However as mentioned in the consultation, the final contents of the Bill will be subject to confirmation at the Budget 2014.

The consultation is via HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs and concerns the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency – Great Britain (GB).

As you may also be aware, in Northern Ireland we have the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland (DVLNI) – DVA Licensing which looks after Driver – Vehicle – Commercial Licensing and operates under the terms of a formal agency agreement between the DOE and the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR), for the registration and licensing of vehicles and the collection and enforcement of vehicle excise duty in Northern Ireland.

So similar to GB but our own licensing authority in Northern Ireland and our interpretation that the legislation may have another round of debates, if not strictly applicable here as our systems could not cope with this wholly electronic format of road tax – .

This brings in the other issue of moving some of our DVLA NI services to the DVLA in Swansea.

So to that end at Right To Ride we have written to the Northern Ireland Minister responsible to ask if the proposals are accepted, how or if this would affect us in Northern Ireland (we may need to respond to the consultation).

Not forgetting that here in Northern Ireland if a bike is MoT’ed, we have to fit another “Tax Disc” holder to display the MoT disc.

There was also a recent announcement in GB that, SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) for vehicles would not need to be renewed every year if SORN had been declared, will this be taking effect in Northern Ireland?

In Northern Ireland we also have a different system for SORN – paper based – at selected Post Office branches, in person at a Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) local office or by post – in GB you can declare SORN, directly over the internet.

So watch this space!

Finance Bill 2014: draft legislation overview documents – Click Here

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  1. I have been in touch with the DVLA and can confirm that when a vehicle is sold the vehicle tax will end and the seller will be able to obtain a refund and the new buyer will have to take out a new period of vehicle tax which will commence from the 1st day of the current month.

    Those who choose not to obtain vehicle tax immediately, but maybe wait till 1st day of the next month will need to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

    In addition to the 6 & 12 month tax you can take out a monthly Direct Debit at an additional cost of 5%, however, when you sell your vehicle the DVLA will not stop taking Direct Debit payments until you tell them you no longer have the vehicle, and then if you have brought another one you have to take out a new Direct Debit.

    Lastly, while the DVLA work through the practicalities of how this system works it does look like they might be making a few extra millions at our expense if the DVLA round up the taxation to the nearest month when it comes to buying and selling.

    As an example a person selling a vehicle would lose a month of their tax and the person buying it could have to pay an extra month.

    Although this does not appear to be much if one calculates that buyer and seller lose £10 each – with around 3 million second hand cars alone being bought and sold each year that is a potential windfall of £60 million each year – nice one?

  2. MAG News release – MAG Dispels the great Vehicle Excise Duty myth

    23rd January 2014

    Yesterday, MAG learned – via sources at the DVLA and an MP, that the Government is using the scrapping of the tax disc to pretend that Vehicle Excise Duty belongs to the owner and not the vehicle. Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, this is not the case – the VED currently belongs to the vehicle.

    According to our contact, the changes to the VED system (which will take place in October) are all to do with the Finance Bill 2014, which states how the Government raises its revenue for the coming year. There is currently a Government consultation in place – everyone has the right of reply, until the 4th of February.

    John Mitchell, MAG National Chairman is not pleased with the blatant misinformation that is being given out over the internet: “Getting any future owner of a vehicle to tax it immediately on purchasing – rendering any existing VED invalid – will generate a large sum of cash for the Government; no doubt it will pay for the rebrand of the DVLA for the merger with the Driving Standards Agency (which becomes the DVSA in April).

    It is now time for a proper debate on the future of VED for all vehicles – especially for motorcycles. MAG is now committed to campaigning for the exemption of motorcycles/PTWs from VED.

    Questions are also to be asked in Parliament.”

    More information can be found on the Government website here:

    Original Source – Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK)