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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Tax disc to be scrapped in favour of electronic system

After more than 90 years affixed to British motorists' cars, the tax disc is to be scrapped and replaced with a modern electronic system, Chancellor George Osborne will announce today.

For the first time motorists will also be able to pay for their vehicle excise duty (VED) by monthly direct debit, spreading the burden for hard-pressed drivers, although this will cost an extra 5 per cent.

The extra charge for paying for six months at a time will be reduced from 10 per cent to 5 per cent and the two measures are expected to save motorists who spread their payments over £20 million a year.

Scrapping the tax disk is expected to save businesses a total of £7 million a year in administration costs, but customers who are not online will still be able to tax their car in person at a Post Office or on the phone.

A Treasury spokesman said: "This is a visual symbol of how we are moving government into the modern age and making dealing with government more hassle free."

The changes will be legislated for in next year's Finance Bill and will come into effect from October 2014.

Officials said the tax disc was no longer needed for enforcement purposes, with the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency and police already relying on an electronic register.

The number of visual notifications by the police has fallen by 75 per cent since 2008, the Treasury said.

Vehicle tax was introduced in the 1888 budget and the system of excise duty applying specifically to motor vehicles was introduced in 1920, with the tax disc appearing the following year.

Have your say

How will the public know whether a parked car is taxed? i.e. in date or on a SORN notice or even abandoned? I'm sure we don't have enough police presence on the streets with the time to investigate this and the public are quite vigilant normally.

Posted by John Wood on 9 December 2013 at 07:45

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