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New rules for the tax disc: Everything you need to know

As of October 1 2014, the paper tax disc will be abolished. But what does that mean for motorists? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about taxing a car in late 2014 and beyond.

So I don’t need to display my tax disc if I already have one?

That’s right. Tear it up, burn it, frame it for posterity; you no longer to display it in your car. You can get rid of that little tax disc pouch stuck to your windscreen while you’re at it. From here on your windscreen will be as clean and as pure as the driven snow. Apart from the dead bugs, that is. 

If I buy road tax will I still get a disc?

You’re not following, are you? The answer is no. Tax discs won’t exist after October 1. If you buy road tax, you won’t get a disc, and if you already have a valid disc, you don’t have to display it.

So how will the police know if my vehicle is taxed?

Cops no longer need to rely on checking the physical tax disc in your windscreen. Now they use computers and such. Every vehicle that has valid tax will be registered onto a database known as the electronic vehicle register, to which the police have access.

How do I check if my vehicle is taxed?

You’re in luck. The the DVLA has set up a new website that lets you check whether any vehicle has valid vehicle tax, instantly. Head over to the vehicleenquiry site, enter your registration number and vehicle make, and Bob’s your proverbial uncle.

Will the DVLA still remind me of when I need to tax my vehicle?

Yes, they’ll send out reminders in the post as normal, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for official-looking envelopes. You can tax your vehicle by phone, post, online, or at a Post Office branch.

If I sell my car will the tax be transferable?

No. If you sell or transfer it, you’ll have to tell the DVLA and they’ll refund you with any full months’ tax remaining. If you buy a used vehicle after October 1, you’ll have to tax it before you can use it – no more using existing remaining months of tax.

How do I tax my vehicle?

This can be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online or by phone – or at a Post Office branch that deals with vehicle tax. You can use the DVLA’s automated phone service by calling 0300 123 4321. Or by visiting the Renew a tax disc section of

How do I buy vehicle tax for my vehicle online?

You can apply online to tax or SORN your vehicle using your 16 digit reference number from your vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11 or V85/1) or 11 digit reference number from your log book (V5C). If you don’t have a log book, you can apply for one at a Post Office.

Why is the Gov UK website down?

The DVLA said it is experiencing ‘high volumes of interest’ on the system but is yet to crash. It advised to keep trying.

Do I have to use the internet?

Nope – any post office that previously let you tax your car can still do the job. You can even set up a direct debit for payments if you prefer to pay in installments, but there’s a catch we’ll get to in a second. The only difference is you are no longer given a paper tax disc in return for your hard-earned.

Can I setup a direct debit at a Post Office now?

The Post Office says the direct debit service will become available from October 5th, 2014. The catch is that you can only set it up if your car tax renewal is after the 1st of November. So if your renewal date falls before then, you will have to wait or get six months and swap to a direct debit when that runs out.