The new tax disc rules (updated)

Ripping up the rulebook

Car Clinic: Tax Disc

How did the car tax rules change on October 1, 2014?

Vehicle owners no longer need to display a tax disc in their cars. You can take it out, remove the holder and scrape away at the adhesive still on your screen.


What if I taxed my car just before October 1?

Your tax is still valid for six or 12 months, as usual, but you no longer need to display the paper disc in your car windscreen.


How do I tax my car now?

You will still receive a reminder that your tax is about to expire. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can join the post office queue. Phone payments can be made on 0300 123 4321 or you can pay online at There’s also a new option of paying by direct debit annually or, with a 5% surcharge, in monthly or six-monthly instalments. If you want you can still set this up at a post office.


With no tax disc, who’s going to know if I don’t pay tax?

The DVLA, which keeps a database of all vehicles and their tax status. Unless your car is declared as being off road, you are committing an offence by failing to have it taxed; your car could be crushed and you face a fine of up to £1,000. Police automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras are linked to the DVLA database. If they see your car is untaxed, you’re likely to be stopped.


Is tax transferable if I sell my car?

No. As soon as you notify the DVLA that your car has been sold, scrapped or removed from the road, a refund of unused tax will be issued, but the catch is that it covers only full months of tax. If you sell your car in the first week of the month, you lose the next three weeks’ worth. The buyer still has to pay from the moment they purchase it, so the DVLA gets double tax for a few weeks. It could earn an extra £54m as a result.


How do I tax a car I’ve just bought?

You can use the code from the vehicle registration document to pay in the ways set out above.


How do I check if a car has tax?

Type the car’s make, model and registration number into the relevant boxes at


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