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Government hits the brakes on tax disc display

From 1st October, the paper tax disc will be abolished

R.I.P. tax disc!

R.I.P. tax disc!

As of the 1st of October this year, drivers will no longer be required to display vehicle tax discs. Don’t get your hopes up too quickly though – it’s not being abolished entirely, you will still have to pay the same tax duty. The government is simply transitioning into modern ways, storing all vehicle tax payments and records digitally.

These changes will take effect around the same time as the new changes to UK driving licence costs as brought in by the DVLA recently.

Considering the tax disc turned 93 years old in January, this concept is an unusual one for most which, not surprisingly, is garnering some mixed views. Here are some pros and cons for you to ponder over…


  • Being ‘green’ – digital payments and therefore no tax discs will be friendlier to the environment, creating less paper production resulting in less paper wastage.

  • The new scheme will clear some paper storage space in your local Post Office if you pay by direct debit or make a payment online – one less thing to queue for too!

  • Time is money – this will save fleet businesses a shed load of administrative hours, removing the handling of 1000’s of vehicle tax disc annually.


  • Proof of purchase – do we feel comfortable not having a hard copy as evidence of our tax expenditure?

  • The digital storage of personal data could pave way for more hacking opportunities and personal data selling.

In addition to this, the way that vehicle tax is paid is changing too. If your lifestyle proves too hectic to annually fill out a tax renewal form, you can now set up a monthly, bi-annual or annual direct debit to ensure you never forget to renew again. With a decrease in the surcharge of monthly and bi-annual payments to 5% (compared with the current 10% for bi-annual payments), this initiative also ensures your finances stay on track.

You can check if your vehicle is taxed here. DVLA will still send you a V11 or V85/1 renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire.

For more information, click here.

Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency: Vehicle tax changes explained

About the Author

Heidi White

Staff Writer at Arnold Clark