Death of the tax disc – how will the new tax disc rules affect you?

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Updated March 3, 2015


Since October 1, 2014 you have no longer been required to display a tax disc in your windscreen – but you still have to pay vehicle tax in the same way, and your car will be recorded on the electronic vehicle register – you just won’t be issued with a paper disc.

What is road tax?

There is no such thing as road tax - the practice of taxing road use was abolished in 1937 and replaced with vehicle excise duty (VED), a tax on cars based upon engine size and emissions. VED is an annual tax that must be paid on any vehicle that is used on public roads, with the exemption of ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs), and is still commonly referred to as 'road tax'. The cost of this tax is determined by when the car was registered and either the size of its engine or its CO2 emissions.

Why are there no more paper tax discs?

The reason we’re witnessing the death of the tax disc after almost 100 years is because the DVLA and police now use the electronic vehicle register to check if a vehicle is taxed and so a paper disc is no longer needed. So what will the new tax disc rules will mean for you? Here’s a DVLA Q&A…

New tax disc rules Q&A

How will I know if my vehicle is taxed?

You can check the tax status of any vehicle, and how much tax is levied on a particular car, using the DVLA’s Vehicle Enquiry System.

Will I still get a reminder when my vehicle tax is due to run out?

Yes, there will be no change to the issue of the Renewal Reminder (V11s and V85/1s)

Will I still be able to tax my vehicle at the Post Office?

Yes, if you want to pay for your vehicle tax at your local Post Office branch, you’ll still be able to but you won’t be issued with a paper tax disc.

How does this work if my vehicle is exempt from payment of vehicle tax, for instance, disabled tax class?

You’ll still have to apply for vehicle tax as normal, even if your vehicle is in the disabled tax class. The only change is you won’t be issued with a paper tax disc.

What if I need a tax disc to get a parking permit/car parking space?

All local authorities will be aware of the change to law where tax discs will no longer be available.

Will this lead to more people not paying their vehicle tax?

DVLA and the police take enforcement directly from the vehicle register, and the additional details held by the insurance industry and Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) means electronic checks can also be made on whether a car has a valid insurance and MoT certificate.

In addition, the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology means all cars can be spot-checked from distance and any untaxed vehicle on the road can be wheel-clamped.

These enforcement measures have helped to keep vehicle tax evasion at an all-time low of around 0.6% and there is no evidence to suggest getting rid of the paper tax disc will cause an increase in tax evasion.

If I’m buying a new vehicle, will the tax still be transferred with it?

From October 1, when you buy a vehicle the tax will no longer be transferred along with it, meaning you’ll need to get new vehicle tax before you can use it. You can tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement (VC5/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online or by phone on 0300 123 4321 – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – or via your local Post Office branch during its normal opening hours.

If I'm buying from a motor trader, should they tax it for me?

If a motor trader is taxing your new vehicle for you, you must make sure you get the V5C/2 - the green slip that shows you are the new keeper - at the point when the sale is agreed and that the right date of sale has been noted on both that and the V5C.

As tax can no longer be transferred it's worth confirming with the the trader that they send off the V5C to DVLA and then a day or two after you have bought the car, go online to check whether it has been taxed.

If it hasn't been taxed, you should contact the trader immediately and get in touch with DVLA on 0300 790 6802.

If I’m selling a vehicle, how do I get a refund?

If you’re the registered keeper you’ll be issued with an automatic refund when you notify the DVLA you no longer need to tax the vehicle as it has been sold, ownership transferred or the car has been declared off the road (SORN).

DVLA no longer accepts applications for a vehicle tax refund from customers using a V14 form. They will be rejected and returned to the customer. 

DVLA will automatically issue a vehicle tax refund when a notification is received from the registered keeper that the:

  • vehicle has been sold or transferred
  • vehicle has been scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility
  • vehicle has been exported
  • vehicle has been removed from the road and the person on the vehicle register has made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)
  • registered keeper has changed the tax class on the vehicle to an exempt duty tax class

You need to make sure the dates you bought the car and/or the dates it  was disposed of are provided on the notification via the vehicle registration certificate (V5C or logbook), V5C/2 and V5C/3 are current and accurate.

Incorrect information will affect the amount of refund calculated. For more information, visit


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