News and Views
UK: Death of the tax disc: You won’t need one on your windscreen, but you still pay
Abolished: Motorists will not have to display the documents in their cars from October 2014
Almost 100 years of motoring history will be torn up today when the Chancellor abolishes the traditional car tax disc.
From October next year, motorists will no longer have to display their road tax in the windscreen of their vehicles.
Insiders say the documents – which were introduced in 1920 in the heyday of the Ford Model T – are unnecessary because they are rarely inspected by police nowadays.
George Osborne will use his Autumn Statement in the Commons to announce that the plans will save £7 million in administration costs.
Unfortunately for motorists, they will still have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty – but the Treasury claims that there will also be savings of £20 million for Britain’s hard-pressed motorists as a result of changes to the way car tax can be paid.
The number of windscreens checked for tax discs by officers has dropped 75 per cent in the last five years, thanks to the electronic vehicle register that is used by both traffic police and the DVLA. A police source said: ‘The tax disc is no longer needed for enforcement purposes. ‘The police use numberplate recognition equipment. If they pull you over they can immediately tap into this database and see whether the car is taxed and insured and what the driver ought to look like.’