Car tax changes: what you need to know

Car atop coins

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has abolished paper tax discs and replaced them with a digital registration scheme. But are you ready for the change?

From 1 October, motorists will no longer need to display a tax disc on their windscreens, something that has been required for the past 93 years. Instead, the DVLA is moving to an electronic-register system that will allow drivers to pay their car tax via direct debit.

Direct Debits will be available from 1 November and motorists will be able to pay their tax on an annual, six-monthly, or monthly basis.

Ahead of the changes, the driving agency has issued advice on the changes drivers need to be aware of:

Buying a car

From 1 October, the tax on the vehicle you bought will no longer be transferred with the car - you will need to get new tax before you can drive. This can be bought online, on the phone or via the Post Office using the existing 'New Keeper Supplement' part of the vehicle registration certificate.

Selling a car

If you sell a car after 1 October and inform the DVLA, you will automatically be refunded for any full calendar months left on the tax that are unused. You will no longer need to make a separate application for a refund of vehicle tax.

When direct debits won't be available

You won't be able to tax your vehicle via direct debit for fleet schemes, HGVs or first-registration vehicles.

How to check the tax status of a vehicle

You can check the status of any vehicle by visiting

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Your Comments

Does this mean a sneaky tax boost for the government? If you sell a car on say the 10th of October, you will only get a refund on your tax for any complete calendar months outstanding, in this case from November onwards. Meanwhile the buyer will have to pay the tax for the whole of October and beyond before legally able to use the car. So tax for October on the vehicle is paid twice! Is this correct?


What a con!

On the contrary, this should result in ridding the road of people who have no insurance. When I was selling an old car all the prospective buyers were interested in was 'is it taxed' displaying a valid tax disc they did not feel the need to get car insurance as there was less likelyhood of them being caught...unless they had an accident when us poor 'legal drivers' would be penalised.  I just hope that the authorities check as many cars as possible and get these other morons off the road, they are the ones pushing up insurance costs.

If you sell a car on, say, 5th .... and buy another car on 6th .... you will be paying TWICE for the same month!
It's a con to fleece us taxpayers even more - while they save by having no admin. for the discs ......

You could only ever get a refund for complete months anyway!


I've always said everyone should display 2 discs. One for Road Tax and the other for insurance. This new system will make it very difficult to report untaxed vehicles. Hopefully the police will be extra vigilant and check vehicles constantly. Any untaxed or uninsured vehicle should be crushed no questions asked. The owner of the offending vehicle should lose their driving licence for 10 years and be banned from owning a vehicle for 20 years.

Has anyone seen the system at DVLA, it's a gigantic number cruncher, why not tax on a daily basis, like every other service/utility, otherwise Midnight on the last day of the month. The dealers/companies will soon bring the government to heel.

What is to stop the "specialists" (and we all know who they are) aquiring a duplicate set of number plates, for a genuinely paid for vehicle of the same make, model,colour etc, and affixing them to their vehicle. I would assume any vetting by police by their electronic means, would show the offending vehicle as "OK". I am sure the "specialists" will find other ways around this issue, but I cant think of anymore at the moment. I always favoured this "Road Tax" being placed on fuel, that way everyone has to pay it, I appreciate a higher miliage driver will end up paying more than the lower miliage driver, but equally the higher miliage driver is wearing the roads out more.  

True, but at least the buyer could benefit from the fact tax has already been paid. Now it has to be paid a second time!

The problem with displaying a disc for insurance is the same problem as a certificate of insurance. The driver takes out insurance and pays the first months premium then cancels the payment method. He still has the certificate even though the Insurance Company may have demanded it back. If you have an accident, go to on your mobile and check the other drivers details. This should tell you if the vehicle is insured. The problem. however, still remains that the driver might not be!

Of course it means it is paid for twice !
That's how the government makes some of it's income.
They always change things in their favour !!

What Happens if you  do not have enough Money to Have a Bank Account -to do DD and want to pay cash??

You can still tax it as you do now, online or at a post office - direct debits are just another way to pay.  But if you don't have enough money to have a bank account, how can you aford to run a car?

To: Handy Person:


You don't need any money to have a bank account. Just apply for a 'BASIC ACCOUNT' and you can open it with £0.00! With RBS / NatWest you can do it all online and have it open in days if you're on the electoral roll. You get all the features of a normal account, bar overdrafts.

Been trying to SORN my car since yesterday on the GOV site.
Its been down all this time and still down today 1st Oct.
Called to do it on the 0300 number provided & that syas its down as well !

I don't think that would work. As far as I am aware, the mobile cameras in police cars etc will flag up as suspected any car whose registration details are not the same as the registered details. So anyone trying to beat the system would have to ensure that the make model and colour of the vehicle matched the plates displayed.

Hi all,
Am i right in thinking that i cannot start paying via Direct Debit until the 1st Nov?
If this is the case then what happens to people like myself who's Road Tax expired on the 1st Oct? I am unemployed and have only just today managed to MoT my car (£45) and it passed thankfully but has taken money from the little i get from the DWP. I will not be able to pay 6 months up front and was under the impression that i would be able to pay monthly. Does this mean i have to SORN my car until next month when the monthly payments are accepted?
Many thanks for any replies.